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A secular trend toward less regulation as governments try to increase national competitiveness

Observers of the law department scene incessantly complain about thickets of regulations that drive up legal complexity and costs and they bemoan even more burdens on legal departments as regulations metastasize. But wait, here is the Economist, May 19, 2012, flying in the face of that dire prospect: “Many businesses, particularly in Europe, face deregulation as lagging economies seek to boost competitiveness through structural reform.”

As much of the growth of U.S. companies will come from the not-yet-mature markets of other countries, including Europe, the longer-term trend may be for relatively less legal regulation (See my post of March 28, 2011: costs of regulation and value of law department with 7 references.).