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Consumer Trends 2022: Horizon scanning - a challenge for legal teams

11 January 2022

From the tsunami of COVID and Brexit legislation to the growth of ESG and supply chain governance, horizon scanning for the next regulatory challenge has never been more important.

When we look back at the last 2 years, in time, we may remark about how 'fortunate' we were to have lived through multiple generational events occurring at the same time. At the moment however, that reflection is difficult to appreciate as we struggle to find ways adapt and stay up to date in an ever-changing legal and business environment. From the COVID pandemic through political events, such as Brexit and the trade war with China, to the rise of the multifaceted topic of ESG - a tsunami of regulation has been unleashed. Relentless and significant changes have made it increasingly difficult to plan and know with certainty what the future will hold. It is not surprising that clients are telling us that they struggle to stay up to date and see what's coming next. 

So how can you stay on top of it all?

Be heard

Whatever happens, the pace of change will continue to be vast and relentless through 2022. There has never been a more important time to have your ear to the ground, scanning the horizon for that next big thing. It also has never been more important to make the most of all available sources of information and in particular make sure your voice is heard during relevant consultations – whether formal or informal. While in the past relying on a trade association response was a good solution, the scale and significance of some of the changes means that you also need to share your opinion, clearly and specifically at the outset and direct communication is the best way for this. More than ever it is a time for Legal and Public Affairs to work together. If you wait for the policy to be set, or the law published, then the chances are it will be too late to change direction materially and at best minor adjustments may be all that is possible. Early and effective engagement is key, quite literally: horizon scanning.

Stay up to date

Horizon scanning can be challenging - with considerable noise to cut through in order to find out what you need to do. How can you stay up to date and ensure that you have all of the necessary information to make strategic decisions? One option is to sign up to our RAG rated weekly regulatory update, to keep up to date with key regulatory issues and developments.

Often you will also need something more specific and granular. Our Mindcrest team provide solutions for a range of big businesses that allow them to stay on top of key issues and regulatory requirements, whether it is awareness of changes across 10 jurisdictions on one topic or a deeper dive on what is upcoming on a particular regulatory topic, we are working with household brands in the consumer sector to design and create bespoke knowledge solutions to help them stay up to date with the legal change which is most important to their business. If you would like to explore how we can assist you contact us at consumer@dwf.law

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