Top Legal Challenges Facing General Counsel in 2023

February 6, 2023
Top Legal Challenges Facing General Counsel in 2023

[Download our GC Guide to Navigating 2023 for over 75 pages of expert-written analysis, checklists, and how-to guidance to help your legal team tackle emerging issues.]

In 2022, general counsel were still grappling with pandemic-related operational issues while also addressing emerging issues, such as developing environment, social, and corporate (ESG) strategies; dealing with the “Great Resignation;” and managing costs in an inflationary environment.

This year’s legal landscape is projected to be complex for GCs. In particular, ESG, labor and employment, privacy, and transactional matters – both distinct and overlapping – will require GCs to be well-informed of ongoing legal developments while strengthening their collaborative relationships with fellow executive leaders at their respective companies.

Here’s a look at how key issues in these areas of practice might play out this year.


In 2022, GC had to help their companies navigate a minefield of state legislation and federal rulemakings surrounding ESG. This year, while much of this activity is expected to continue, businesses will also need to increasingly deal with the ESG-related concerns of their shareholders as investor activist campaigns signal a shift toward corporate policies that cut across the three pillars of environmental, social, and governance issues.

Labor and employment

Although 2023 may provide new challenges for unions, GC of companies where employees are newly unionized will still need to work hard to ensure favorable collective bargaining outcomes for their business amid a push by the White House to strengthen organizing rights. Meanwhile, the ongoing trend of states passing laws that require disclosure of pay ranges will impact legal teams regardless of whether unions are involved.

[Download our GC Guide to Navigating 2023 for insights into the ESG, privacy, labor and employment, and transactional issues impacting your organization.]


With five comprehensive state privacy laws taking effect this year, GC will need to be aware of material nuances between new statutes and accompanying regulations, including how they relate to artificial intelligence (AI) and health data privacy in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. On the national front, 2023 could be a banner year for the Federal Trade Commission’s privacy endeavors.


Companies impacted by last year’s global supply chain woes will need to be vigilant of new types of disruptions, including war, extreme weather, and the risk of a global recession, while also monitoring the U.S. government’s enforcement of trade rules. In the world of private equity, while GC for companies seeking deals can expect a much slower year compared to 2022, there is still plenty of unspent capital to be put to use in acquisitions this year.

[Download our GC Guide to Navigating 2023 for over 75 pages exploring the trends and issues general counsel need to know.]

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