Paula Gomes Freire is quoted in the yearbook Who's Who in the Law Market, published by Jornal Económico, in an article in which the leaders of several law firms answer the question "What do you foresee for the law market in 2024?".

On the coming year and the major changes ahead, VdA's Managing Partner says: "We are living in challenging and transformative times, marked by an environment of uncertainty and enormous opportunity. 2024, overshadowed by the disturbing events of 7 October and 7 November 2023, will be no different. The war in Ukraine has been joined by the conflict in the Middle East and the context of economic adversity that marked Portugal in 2023 is now joined by a scenario of political uncertainty. Despite all this, it is to be hoped that in 2024 the legal market, which has shown enormous resilience, will remain highly competitive and dynamic, not least because, rather than the health of the economy, it essentially lives off economic activity. And, in fact, everything is happening:

- the energy transition and the digital transition, accelerated by the emergence of Generative AI, dictate a transformational imperative for the business models of all Clients in all sectors and, as such, open the door to M&A activity and interesting financing and investment attraction needs;

- although much of the investment in Portugal depends on public initiative and we won't have a new government in place until the end of the first quarter (which could naturally have an impact on the completion and timing of some major transactions), the truth is that Portugal's strategic location and the maintenance of a favourable and trusting environment, to which the country's rating upgrade announced in November 2023 greatly contributes, mean that in 2024, despite the political uncertainty, Portugal will remain an attractive destination for international investment;

- the imperatives of the 2030 Agenda and the imposition of ESG metrics are very interesting opportunities with a direct impact on the environment, agriculture, business, human rights and governance. Naturally, the profession itself is not immune to this transformational shock, greatly amplified in 2023 by developments in Generative AI. In 2024 there will be an urgent need to rethink the profile of the lawyer of the future, the client relationship model, pricing policies and the very business model on which the practice of law is based. Part of what we do will be available through new product and service channels and the real differentiating element will always be human capital. As such, in 2024 it will be critical to continue to address the challenges of attracting and retaining talent. A final note to point out that 2024 will also be the year in which multidisciplinarity becomes a reality. It will be very interesting to see how the various players in our market position themselves".

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