Trends with: Julian Henwood

Julian Henwood is Partner and Head of European Business Development at Gowling WLG.

Julian has over 30 years’ experience in project managing significant cross-border corporate transactions for a largely European-headquartered client base – including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and asset purchases and disposals.

On 1 May 2018, Julian moved into a new role as Head of European Business Development. This role builds upon his existing roles as chair of Gowling WLG’s Baltic States, Malta, Nordic and Netherlands Teams – as well as being a member of our Belgium and Luxembourg teams.

What trends do you see for the autumn within your line of business?

1. The ever-increasing use of AI and other technologies in the provision of legal advice. Gowling WLG has our own large team of software engineers who design our own software products, some of which are licensed to other law firms.

 2. As the law is very much a service industry, it is eminently suitable for remote working. However, every law firm around the world is now grappling with the challenges of how to allow its people a degree of flexibility in terms of their location while maintaining the ethos and team spirit of the law firm. Online told such as Team and Zoom have transformed the physical look and feel of our office space.

From your perspective, what are the greatest challenges right now?

This is not new – our No. 1 challenge remains attracting and retaining highly gifted people through offering them an excellent experience in the law.

And, opportunities?

The opportunities in a legal career are endless:

1. Being part of clients’ decision-making processes on key decisions that will affect their business

2. Advising on an ever-changing (and increasing) range of legal topics – 5 years ago, who would have thought we would have had partners in our law firm with titles such as “Head of AI” or “Head of ESG” ?

3. Having the opportunity to advise clients from one side of the globe to the other