As much as 51 percent of legal decision-makers describe sudden changes to regulatory policy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as “challenging” or “extremely challenging”, according to a new report commissioned by Al Tamimi & Company.
The new report titled “Legal Leaders in MENA” also highlighted, that it is not just the pace at which new regulation is being introduced that provides a challenge, but decoding and then enforcing it.
The study which captures the views of 700 legal decision-makers across nine countries and 13 industry sectors in the MENA region, lifts the lid, on what is keeping the region’s legal decision-makers awake at night, and what are the emerging risks and priorities challenging the legal sector across the region.
The Legal Leaders in MENA report acknowledges that, while the regulatory environment continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the initiatives being put in place will continue to develop the region into a first-class business destination.
The analysis further identifies that the frequent introduction of new regulatory policies has challenged businesses to stay abreast of legal change. This is reflected by the emphasis businesses are placing on the role of legal decision-makers within their organizations, with 54 percent of respondents stating they now have a seat on their board of directors or equivalent.
Moreover, 90 percent of legal decision-makers surveyed revealed that they are now advising on corporate strategy.
The report further examines a number of pertinent areas that are high on the legal agenda, including the rise of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). The growing importance of ESG is highlighted within the report, with a massive 94 percent of legal decision-makers occasionally, or regularly, assessing ESG risk and compliance within their role. Unsurprisingly, 80 percent of legal decision-makers expect ESG considerations to become more important to their work in the coming years. As ESG transitions into the realm of legal and compliance, the report makes it clear that legal decision-makers will play a central role in the implementation of future ESG policies.