In-house counsel should rein in the urge for any great leap forward if they wish to overcome the biggest hurdles of 2014, writes John Church

The Year of the Horse may encourage many an eager in-house counsel to toss back their heads and gallop at full charge into 2014, but they might be advised to rein in that desire for a speedy victory and that feeling of freedom to do as they please and take on all comers.

In many ways the coming year promises so much, with a leadership pledging to tackle corruption at every level and promise of level playing fields in everything from antitrust to intellectual property (IP). Counsel working for big multinationals as well as domestic companies are waiting to see the advances made in regulatory reform and, more importantly, how that reform will impact upon their legal teams.

Concerns abound in areas such as financial reform and regulation, data security, IP, consumer protection, the environment and technology. But the push towards transparency in business operations carries with it a side that the boundless energy and vitality of the horse would do well to keep in check. For in-house counsel, this may well be known as the year of the compliant horse.

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