Innovating to Find Solutions to Global Challenges


From climate emergencies and wars to accelerated digitisation – law firms can and must work with business leaders to respond and lead in this time of multipolar innovation and polycrisis.

The world is facing unprecedented challenges across economic, environmental, political and social spheres. To solve these challenges, a truly global approach is critical and law firms will play a crucial role by providing innovative and effective legal solutions and frameworks.

For global law firms, this means helping clients prepare for the future by demonstrating deep curiosity about their challenges and fostering a culture of innovation, inclusivity and sustainability. Law firms must also be open to scale their capabilities through combinations and partnering in order to meet the global complexities of the world today. 

Technology – opportunities and risks

Technology is an area that has experienced unprecedented levels of change in the past years. It offers tremendous opportunities for growth and transformation, but also exposes businesses to significant risks. Global law firms are uniquely positioned to help companies with key issues and changing business environments that arise from this. A few developments in particular are impacting businesses significantly:

  • Data has essentially become the new currency. For law firms, access to data will enable them to find better solutions to the global challenges facing their clients. 
  • The COVID pandemic turbocharged the arrival of the digital age. With businesses embracing technology, law firms can advise them on new ways of generating revenue and transforming business models.
  • Artificial intelligence is opening up transformational opportunities in all areas of human activity, but also poses risks. These opportunities and legal risks present a wide range of ethical, legal and regulatory challenges.

The role of law

The importance of law and legal systems has never been greater and they remain a foundation stone for global business activity. The sector is independent of political systems and retains the benefits of a trusted adviser status. This means that the leading law firms have an important role to play in society and a unique opportunity to facilitate transformational change.

However, this is only possible if lawyers understand the changing needs of their clients, where innovation is needed and where the value will be for global business in the future. This will require transformational change in the structure of the legal industry and the ways law firms deliver their services in the future.


Innovating to find solutions

Clients are increasingly facing complex, topic-based challenges that require a combination of global and local (or “glocal”) solutions. Among these emerging “supra-national” topics are trade and sanctions, supply chains, ESG, energy transition, data security and mergers and acquisitions. Truly global law firms, or law firms that collaborate on a global basis, will be best placed to develop effective solutions to help clients. 

An important aspect for law firms is to focus on using technology to provide support around specific legal, regulatory and business challenges as well as find new ways of delivering and accessing services. These solutions include products that can be deployed completely independently and predesigned solutions that use technology and pre-integrated expertise. 


The world is in constant change and the future will be very different from what we know today – whatever it is, the Rule of Law and the role of law firms will remain critical for our society. 

Read more:

Find out more about DAVOS 2024