What do you expect from the legal market in 2024?

João Caiado Guerreiro, Lawyer and Partner, was invited by Jornal Económico to take part in the Leaders' Forum and share his outlook for business law in 2024, a year that macroeconomic challenges should mark, but also with growth opportunities.
News 05/12/2023

Question: Among the various topics the firm will continue to put on the agenda from now on, from digitalization to sustainability or the new rules for traineeships with the revision of the Bar Association’s statutes, which is the most challenging? And what will be the main novelty in your “activity plan” for 2024?

João Caiado Guerreiro – I think everyone in the legal profession or any other activity must learn to deal with Artificial Intelligence (AI). At Caiado Guerreiro, we are already using AI as a working tool to improve the services we provide to our clients. In the particular case of the legal profession, I believe it will be necessary. However, there is still no real sense of whether the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, especially regarding employment. What will happen to those jobs if AI evolves to the point where it produces what many young lawyers have at the start of their careers? We need to test, analyze and understand how to use the tool.

We’ve been adopting various measures in sustainability for a long time, something that, unlike AI, is familiar. The rules for new internships and the revision of the Bar Association’s statutes are very recent issues and are seen in two different ways by many. On the one hand, the government talks about a “question of decency” and “combating precariousness”. On the other hand, there will be those who need help to pay a trainee the minimum wage plus 25%, significantly inhibiting the possibility of young people entering the job market.

Regarding our activity plan for 2024, we at Caiado Guerreiro will continue to invest heavily in technology, AI and streamlining processes, with multidisciplinary teams focusing on our most vital and most recognized practice areas. Today, with the market’s competitiveness, it’s crucial to provide a high-quality service; to do this, we need to invest more and more in people.

Question: What do you expect from the legal market in the coming year?

João Caiado Guerreiro – I think 2024 is a challenging year to project: a new government will be elected and take office in April at the earliest. The ongoing war in Ukraine, the Israel/Hamas conflict in the Gaza Strip, and economic stagnation in the Eurozone are other unpredictable factors. Add to this inflation, expected to reach 2.9% next year, very high-interest rates, and all the crises we’re going through in various areas – health, education, housing. It all adds up to an almost perfect storm for people and companies. Despite all this, I am optimistic that Portugal can return to growth.

Historically, law firms, in general, have shown a tremendous and surprising ability to adapt to generate business with structural resilience in more challenging contexts. The past has shown us that with structured investment in people and technology, we can maintain business levels and, with some new ideas and more disruptive projects, even increase them.

To do this, we need to make a significant adjustment in the way lawyers think, to analyze in a structured way what we have always done well and what we need to increase. A proactive attitude is essential. Just as crucial is advising our clients in the best possible way, thus helping them add value.


The content of this information does not constitute any specific legal advice; the latter can only be given when faced with a specific case. Please contact us for any further clarification or information deemed necessary in what concerns the application of the law.