As the Australian and global economies move from the COVID-19 crisis into a ‘New Reality’ phase, a ‘BUILD BACK BETTER’ approach will be essential according to Stuart Fuller, Global Head of Legal Services, KPMG.
That will be about retaining and leveraging the lessons learned from COVID, but it will also be about developing better more flexible ways of working – and the greater use of technology and automation. As Global Head of Legal Services at KPMG International, Stuart Fuller has a broad lens on the key issues that will play out in business in the coming 12 months.
“The COVID-19 ‘Reaction Phase’ required commercial, operational and regulatory resilience,” said Mr Fuller. “Business was thrust into what we call the ‘Resilience Early Recovery Phase’ with active contract and counterparty management and a flexible approach reflecting the exercise of caution. Whilst this phase enabled some fast capital raises, it also saw slower deal execution and a high level of ‘Business As Usual’ disruption. Yet we’ve also seen employment arrangements in transition and which will be reshaped for the longer term; at the same time, there’s been a strong move to the world of virtual governance and stakeholder engagement.”
Mr Fuller says that while the short term focus will be on the need to ‘fix the issues’ from the COVID-19 period, businesses will have to manage big decisions made at speed in imperfect conditions.
“That’s where they must plan and implement resilience measures and mechanisms in three key areas, and appreciate that the business needs legal, and the legal is business,” he says. “We’re already seeing the early movers starting to consider these three: supply chain resilience, business reorganisation, and the regulatory engagement/response highlighting the role of Legal.”
KPMG Law makes Ten Post COVID-19 Predictions that can guide business as they look to respond to a faster more digitised way of operating and ‘Build Back Better’.
Top ten post COVID-19 predictions for business
- Business will shift focus to the ‘Client Experience’ – Solutions, services and the client experience will TRIUMPH over advice, expertise and legacy relationships
- Collaboration’ will reshape the market – Market dynamics and demand will be elastic and will drive a new era of what KPMG Law calls ‘COLLABORTITION’ – the place where Collaboration and Competition meet.
- We will automate – the legal marketplace will augment its services delivery through automation. That’s already underway but it will intensify as businesses seek to further simplify, modernise, and digitise to drive a better customer experience and revenue for the business.
- We will see intensification of digitisation – What might have taken a decade, will now be intensified by rapid digitisation in a shorter time frame. In the legal world, all areas will be impacted from law schools and law firms to limbs of government and court systems.
- Legal sovereignity will follow economic sovereignty – And it will impact foreign investment – especially in Asia – trade, and immigration trends.
- Resilience will trump efficiency – In a more complex and competitive world, legal will be the enhanced enabler, the “muscle” and “connective tissue” of business and which will help business bake in and embed resilience.
- Business will need the benefit of hindsight – Looking back at preparedness and strategy will be a powerful weapon for shaping both corporate strategy – and managing the inevitable claims that will flow from COVID.
- They will be back but not as we know them – Both governance and compliance will return to the spotlight for business, but will not be the same as before.
- There will be greater expectations – Regulatory, politicial and community expectations will continue to increase leading to more demands on business and legal.
- We will see embedded legal eagles – The role and value of legal will be redefined in an organisation with a much more embedded character and crucial role to play in the business; ie business will recognise it needs legal; and legal is business.