You are holding in your hands Leaders League’s first USA & Canada guide – or rather, a taster of the 2019 guide to come.
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« You are holding in your hands Leaders League’s first USA & Canada guide – or rather, a taster of the 2019 guide to come. We’ve always been proud of our global, practice area-specific guides: Litigation & Competition; Arbitration & ADR; Investigations, Compliance & Insurance; Innovation: Technology & Patents; and Marketing & Brands, Trademarks & Copyright. This summer, we’re expanding our Transactions & Deals series into three guides: M&A; Asset Management & Alternative Investment; and Finance & Tax. But we decided that 2019 would be the year to launch a comprehensive guide to the North American legal and business markets. It’s an ambitious project: not only are we including US- and Canada-specific rankings across all the above topics, we’re boosting the guide with exclusive content and new non-law-firm rankings to help build bridges between law firms, clients, service providers and financial institutions. There’ll be even more content when the full guide is launched at the IBA Annual Conference in Seoul this September. And what a year it’s been. In the legal world, many of the top firms have been posting their best results since the financial crash a decade ago. While the legal industry has historically been resistant to change, technological advancements and alternative law firm models have the potential to reshape the way legal services are sourced. M&A and investment continue to boom, though how long this period of haymaking will last is uncertain. And America is pushing for better compliance standards throughout the world: in 2018 in the US, 16 companies paid $2.89bn altogether to resolve outstanding FCPA cases – an increase of five companies and nearly $1bn compared to 2017. It remains in the interests of big business to operate in a world free of “facilitation payments” even as a race to the bottom seems tempting. According to the interviews we’ve done with leading IP partners from coast to coast in the US and Canada, intellectual property is another area where excitement levels remain undiminished. US legislation such as the 2011 America Invents Act (AIA), which implements a first-to-file approach to patents rather than a first-to-invent one, and the Supreme Court’s 2014 “Alice” decision, which ruled that abstract ideas are not eligible for patenting simply by dint of being implemented on a computer, has reduced the number of petty patent squabbles and spurious patent claims, encouraging genuine innovation in its stead – though the AIA, despite its financial incentives for small inventors, may prove a boon for institutionalized invention behemoths for whom the financial and temporal costs of filing patents are easily borne, at the expense of less well-resourced and hence less quick-to-file inventors... »
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