Foley & Lardner LLP today published its inaugural edition of Foley Forward: Trends 2023. Informed by the latest sector trends and market drivers, the publication brings insights from across four key sectors: Energy, Health Care & Life Sciences, Innovative Technology, and Manufacturing.
The latest publication builds upon Foley’s commitment to looking beyond the law to deliver creative, practical, and effective solutions to the evolving demands facing clients. It is intended to help clients – who increasingly seek holistic insights from advisors who know their business and markets as deeply and profoundly as they do – see around corners and predict broader trends’ implications as they navigate an unprecedented market and operating environment.
Foley Forward: Trends 2023 unpacks the landscape of the constantly evolving demands to help position companies for success, providing valuable insights across the following sections:
Amid the rapid acceleration of energy convergence, Foley expects more businesses to focus on merging traditional forms of energy sources with clean energy sources. As companies navigate the clean energy transition, the focus remains on accessing the benefits of the landmark Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which will catalyze projects that decarbonize the energy sector through its unprecedented funding and new and expanded tax credits. ESG is also increasingly vying for airtime in the oil and gas boardroom as leaders determine how best to tackle environmental, social, and governance topics – while managing compliance and reputational risks. At the same time, more renewable manufacturers than ever are considering onshoring or nearshoring manufacturing facilities in the United States, creating disruption and opportunities for the entire value chain.
After passing telehealth statutes in response to COVID-19, Foley anticipates states will hone in on modifications to telehealth modalities required for appropriate standards of care in 2023. At the same time, companies providing clinical trial services via telehealth have to deal with whether the carrying out of the clinical aspects of a trial is considered part of the practice of medicine. Each practice standard requirement and compliance requires state-by-state analysis, and failure to adhere to such standards could subject study sites, investigators, and staff to unwarranted enforcement. Within life sciences, several high-profile patent cliffs between now and 2030 are expected to rock the biopharma sector and reshape the market – increasing pressure on larger companies to replenish their pipelines, regardless of whether that comes from in-house R&D or new partnerships and acquisitions. In terms of deals, private equity investment in health care should anticipate scrutiny by government regulators, media, and some health care practitioners as questions arise if profit-driven goals conflict with patient care quality.
Following years of corporate investment into innovative technologies, Foley expects more businesses will take advantage of the synergistic combination of serverless computing, edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning to drive further efficiencies, experience, and performance. The combination of mobility, AI, and data analytics will be crucial elements of effective SaaS applications going forward. With AI disruption moving from future to current state, Foley anticipates 2023 will be the year of widespread adoption due to generative AI technologies such as ChatGPT that will push human capacity to new realms. In terms of investments, the prospects for increased M&A activity holds steady – assuming the economy remains stable and valuations remain attractive. A myriad of new cybersecurity and data privacy laws will come into effect this year, requiring organizations to update their global cybersecurity and data privacy programs accordingly.
The ever-resilient manufacturing sector has been bruised – and battered – in recent years through the pandemic, raw material shortages, increased labor costs, rising interest rates and geopolitical events. Looking ahead, Foley expects manufacturers will face key disruptors, including greater financial distress, increased costs, and the transition to electric vehicles – but there will be room for opportunities for growth through acquisition, cost recovery, and innovation. At the same time, the incentives provided by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – which include new and expanded tax credits aimed at boosting onshore American manufacturing – represent significant opportunities for manufacturers in critical industries, particularly in those industries that are key players in the administration’s goal to address climate change. As attention on federal laws that regulate the conduct and organization of businesses to promote competition heats up, manufacturing companies should actively prepare for heightened antitrust scrutiny of their business practices in 2023. Manufacturers are also expected to face heightened ESG expectations to ensure their supply chains don’t include any products made using forced or child labor.
To read Foley Forward: Trends 2023, click here.
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Foley & Lardner LLP is a preeminent law firm that stands at the nexus of the energy, health care and life sciences, innovative technology, and manufacturing sectors. We look beyond the law to focus on the constantly evolving demands facing our clients and act as trusted business advisors to deliver creative, practical, and effective solutions. Our 1,100 lawyers across 25 offices worldwide partner on the full range of engagements from corporate counsel to IP work and litigation support, providing our clients with a one-team solution to all their needs. For nearly two centuries, Foley has maintained its commitment to the highest level of innovative legal services and to the stewardship of our people, firm, clients, and the communities we serve.