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The Year Ahead

Global Disputes Forecast 2024

Against a backdrop of economic stagnation and geopolitical conflict, businesses are preparing for a challenging year. Global disputes will continue at pace, according to insights from more than 600 senior lawyers at large corporations, with ESG and employment risks the greatest areas of concern. Our seventh annual report provides detailed analysis of disputes trends, as well as sectoral and region-specific developments, to prepare your organization for The Year Ahead.

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The big picture

Wider global trends are influencing the disputes landscape

Economic stagnation

The OECD forecasts global growth to slow to 2.7% in 2024, well below the historical average. Many corporate transactions have been postponed, with some clients now focusing on restructuring opportunities.

Geopolitical conflict

There is continued tension between Russia and NATO, conflict in the Middle East, and competition between China and various Western nations. We are also seeing rising trade protectionism.

AI revolution

2023 was a breakout year for generative AI, with McKinsey forecasting gen AI to add up to USD 4.4 trillion annually to the global economy. AI will improve the way lawyers work – but it will also drive disputes.

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Key Issues

Insights by sector & region

Read detailed industry sector and regional analysis in the report

Key resources

Download our full report

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Join our webinar series

Download the report to learn more about the key trends and sectoral and region-specific developments to prepare your organization for The Year Ahead.

We invite you to join us for a series of webinars across ESG, employment and cybersecurity that will provide a practical and actionable way forward in 2024.

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Author

Claudia is a partner at Baker McKenzie. Since 2010, she heads the Dispute Resolution practice in Colombia. In 2018, she was appointed Chair of the Latin America DR practice and since 2019 Claudia is the Global Chair of the Firm's Dispute Resolution Group.
Claudia is also a listed arbitrator of the panel of arbitrators of the Center of Arbitration of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá for both, domestic and international arbitration; a listed arbitrator of the Panel of Arbitrators of the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (Shanghai International Arbitration Center); and a listed arbitrator of the Panel of Arbitrators of the Arbitration Court of Amcham Peru.
Claudia is a highly-regarded expert in transnational litigation and international arbitration. She has over 20 years of extensive experience handling complex litigations and arbitrations related to construction and infrastructure projects, post-acquisition disputes, disputes in the energy sector, distribution and supply agreements, unfair competition, product liability, insolvency and general breach of contract. She often advises investors on treaty planning, and leveraging international protections in the context of government interference. She acts for and against state entities, with particular experience in the energy sector and large infrastructure projects.
Claudia has been ranked by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 as an expert in the field of dispute resolution. According to these publications, the group led by Claudia "'generates absolute confidence’ according to clients who highlight the team’s ‘efficiency, agility and commitment’, ‘broad market knowledge’, and ‘careful follow-up of cases", pointing that "It is led by the ‘expert’ and ‘deeply involved’ Claudia Benavides whose ‘intelligence, diligence and acuity to foresee legal risks’, make her a stand out legal adviser.” Chambers and Partners Latin America notes that "Claudia Ines Benavides Galvis is praised by interviewees for her "wide knowledge of the area, precision and in-depth background" in the field of dispute resolution." She has been ranked Band 1 in Chambers & Partners' individual ranking and in the "Leading Lawyer" listing by The Legal 500. The prestigious publication Who's Who Legal: Arbitration describes her as one of the world experts in arbitration and Benchmark Litigation featured her in the Top 25 Latam Women in Litigation listing. The team led by Claudia is ranked Tier 1 in the prestigious directory The Legal 500. In addition, she was recently awarded by Best Lawyers 2020 "Lawyer of the Year" for Litigation and recognized by such publication as a leader in Arbitration, International Arbitration and Mediation. In 2021, Claudia was named Litigation Latin American Lawyer of the Year by Euromoney's Women in Business Law Americas, and she was added to the Lawdragon Global Litigation 500 list, an accolade reserved for lawyers who "know their way around global business battlefields."
Claudia has been actively involved with academia. She regularly speaks in important national and international conferences and she is the author of several articles related to her practice.

Author

Andy is a partner in the Baker McKenzie Dispute Resolution team based in London. He advises clients on international, commercial and investment treaty arbitration as well as in complex, often multijurisdictional litigation, mediations and expert determinations. He also advises clients on issues pertaining to private and public international law. Andy is recommended in Who's Who Legal: Arbitration 2018 and individually ranked in the field of International Arbitration by Chambers UK, who describe him as "a 'superb' practitioner," and "very commercial" and also recognized by Legal 500, who call him "an arbitration doyen."

Author

Joanna Ludlam is co-chair of Baker McKenzie's Global Compliance & Investigations practice. She has held this position since 2017, having previously led this group in the EMEA region. She is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team in the London office, where she leads the Regulatory, Public & Media law team. Joanna has extensive experience in leading complex investigations and pioneering compliance initiatives. She advises clients, including the C-suite, on corporate criminal liability, regulatory compliance, and crisis and reputation management. She also prepares senior executives for appearances at public inquiries and Parliamentary Select Committee hearings. Her expertise in administrative and public law and public procurement law complements her investigations practice. Joanna co-authored the firm's Connected Compliance thought leadership, which includes the world's first global compliance integration benchmarking tool. Joanna was the winner of the “Compliance Innovator of the Year for Connected Compliance” at the Women in Compliance Awards and the “Admin & Public UK Lawyer of the year” by ACQ5 in 2019. She was one of GIR's "Top 100 Women in Compliance” in 2018 and “Role Model in the HERoes Women Role Model Lists” in 2019. In 2016, Joanna made The Lawyer’s “Hot 100” and is consistently recognized by Chambers and Legal 500. Joanna designed the Firm’s innovative Investigations Academy, a comprehensive, state-of-the-art training programme for investigations practitioners within the Firm’s team and clients. She is also a member of the leadership team for BakerWomen, a key Baker McKenzie D&I focus group.

Author

Peter Tomczak serves as the Chair of Baker McKenzie's North America Litigation and Government Enforcement Practice Group. Peter serves on the North America Pricing Committee, and oversees the practice group's development and review of non-hourly fee based arrangements, or AFAs. He joined Baker McKenzie in 2003, after having served as a law clerk for the Delaware Court of Chancery.

Author

Nandakumar (Kumar) Ponniya heads the Dispute Resolution Practice of Baker & McKenzie in the Asia-Pacific.
Kumar is listed as a leading international arbitration lawyer in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021 and was also named a Litigation Star in the Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific 2020. Chambers Asia Pacific 2021 quotes “the ‘well respected’ Nandakumar Ponniya for having led commercial and investment arbitrations and notes that he is especially recognised for his focus on construction and contractual issues. He has also been described by clients as being “intellectually sharp and street smart” (Legal 500) and "very savvy and well connected" (Chambers Global). Further, he has been recognised for being "sensitive to commercial realities” (Chambers Asia Pacific) and providing "practical, on the ground advice that clients need” (Legal 500).
Kumar is a member of the Expert Panel of the Centre for Cross-Border Commercial Law in Asia (CEBCLA) and is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He serves on statutory tribunals such as the Income Tax Review Board and the Law Society’s Inquiry Panel. In addition, Kumar also serves as an adjunct assistant professor at the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Management University, where he conducts the International Projects Practice and Law as well as the International Construction Law course.

Author

Steve Abraham is a partner in the Baker McKenzie Dispute Resolution team based in London and serves as the firm's Dispute Resolution chair for the EMEA region. Steve has a particular focus on international arbitration and ADR in the energy, mining and infrastructure projects, often involving projects in Africa, the Middle East and CIS countries.
In addition to acting in commercial disputes Steve advises in relation to investment treaty issues and in relation to risk and project management issues during the course of projects.
The current edition of Chambers & Partners describes Steve as "an impressive lawyer" who is "nice to deal with". Previous editions have described him as "superb", "very knowledgeable in construction" and "really strong on large-scale infrastructure and mining work", and commented that "his teamwork is great". He is also included in Legal 500's newly published International Arbitration Powerlist and as a leading practitioner in Euromoney's Expert Guide to Commercial Arbitration.
Steve writes and speaks regularly on international arbitration and construction law issues.

Author

Luis Dates is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Buenos Aires office, where he heads the Dispute Resolution and Public Law practice groups. He has broad experience advising national and foreign companies across a range of public and administrative law issues, particularly doing business with the national government, provinces, municipalities and state-owned enterprises. He also assists and represents clients in complex and multidisciplinary litigation, and is active in domestic and international arbitration.
Luis is a mediator and arbitrator for the Private Center of Mediation and Arbitration. He has written books and numerous articles for various legal publications on topics related to his field. He is also a professor at the School of Law of the University of Buenos Aires and at the School of Legal and Social Sciences of the Museo Social Argentino University.

Author

William (Widge) Devaney is a partner in the Firm's North America Litigation and Government Enforcement Group in New York, co-chair of the North America Government Enforcement Practice and co-chair of the Global Investigations, Compliance & Ethics Practice.

Author

Michael Brewer is the Managing Partner of Baker McKenzie's California offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Los Angeles and Chair of the Firm’s Global Employment & Compensation Practice. A trial lawyer who represents global and domestic clients, Michael has tried class action and single plaintiff employment cases before judges, juries and arbitrators. Super Lawyers has repeatedly recognized Michael for his superior defense of employment claims.

Author

María Antonia Azpeitia heads the Firm’s Tax Litigation and VAT practice groups in Madrid. She is ranked as a leading practitioner in her field by Chambers Europe, and is highly regarded for her work on VAT matters. She is a regular lecturer in tax seminars and conferences, and contributor to economic newspapers and other specialized publications.

Author

Francesca Richmond is a partner in the Baker McKenzie Dispute Resolution team based in London. Francesca joined Baker McKenzie in 2004 and was admitted as a solicitor in September 2006. She attained higher rights of audience to act as a solicitor-advocate in 2009. Francesca has been seconded to Baker McKenzie's offices in Chicago, Washington and Sydney as well as to clients Barclays Bank PLC, the BBC Trust and O2. Francesca was a marshall at the Royal Courts of Justice in 1998 and in 2000 sitting with a High Court judge.

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