What are leading figures in luxury hoping for, expecting from or fearing in 2017? We asked several of our Luxury Law Alliance members to give us their top predictions for the year ahead.
'In-house legal departments whether in the luxury sector or not must be fully engaged in finding the right technology solution for their departments. It is no longer a case of whether you should be using matter management, contract management, document creation, electronic signatures, e-billing but which product you choose to use. The business expects all departments to use technology to create efficiency and reduce costs and the legal department is no different. I hope there is a company that produces an off the shelf entire end-to-end technology solution for an in-house legal department in 2017.'
'Geopolitical events will continue to effect markets however, people are showing a resilience to shock events and after very short stall periods continuing their spending behaviour patterns as before. As guests in general book travel products well in advance, Luxury travel has the benefit of tracking advanced pipeline and consumer sentiment unlike many other businesses, currently the market in Luxury travel continues to be robust for the foreseeable future and long may it continue.'
Michael Ellis, Group General Counsel, Abercrombie & Kent
'I think that [the US] election, the possibility of a trade war and the general unrest in the world will make for a very challenging time in the luxury market. But we have been through dramatic events in the past and people always want beautiful things and experiences.'
Barbara Kolsun, Director of the Cardozo Law School FAME Program and Professor of Practice, Fashion Law; Co-chair of the Luxury Law Summit 2016
'Switzerland is expecting slight changes for the luxury market. One significant change is having less Asian tourists by 5.9 %, in particular from Mainland China by 22.1 %. These tourists were those who were keen buyers of luxury brands, in particular watches. Perhaps the market will have to go to where the buyers are instead of the other way around?'
'Significant changes will occur as from 1 January 2017 when an amendment to the Swiss Trademark Act regulates the use of ‘Made in Switzerland’ more clearly. Among the detailed rules, most luxury goods who want to be considered as ‘Made in Switzerland’ will have to meet the threshold of at least 60 % of the overall production costs having occurred at the place of claimed origin.'
'Finally, everyone is warming up for the changes planned in our Corporate Tax Reform III, where companies trading their luxury goods through a tax-soothing holding, domicile or mixed company in certain cantons will lose their privileges and have to re-size into a homogenized international tax regime. There are new substituting benefits to keep it interesting for companies to stay in Switzerland, in line with the OECD requirements, and we have two more years to analyze and implement such corporate tax planning.'
Dr Markus Zwicky, Attorney, Zwicky Windlin & Partner
'Online counterfeiting remains a growing concern for brands, and will continue to do so in 2017. New technologies, easier delivery models, and nimble fakers make a perfect storm in which enforcement always seems one step behind in an ever-expanding whack-a-mole environment. Fortunately, the costs and victims of counterfeiting (be they brands, consumers, workers, or governments) are becoming more known through better metrics and reporting. With these developments, enforcement will slowly gain the upper hand as rights holders and governments share more information, pioneer and use better technologies, and cooperate more effectively. Enlisting the support of online platforms to ensure simple, swift, and widely available takedown procedures, will remain an important part of efforts to ensure online counterfeiting is permanently addressed.'
Stephen Lamar, Executive Vice President, American Apparel & Footwear Association
'2017 is going to be all about trust and transparency in the drinks space. Sugar reduction, which is central to our mission at Thomson & Scott, is something that will certainly be on the health agenda for governments and health agencies. We will certainly continue to lead the way in making substantial noise about the exciting possibilities for the wine industry. We want to see it follow the progress that has already been made in the food industry around food provenance and the reduction in sugar and additives. Our motto at Thomson & Scott for 2017 is: Cut sugar. Drink cleaner. Drink better.'
Ian Thomson, Creative Director, Thomson & Scott