Post #902 – November 15, 2021

Identifying Potentially Lucrative Legal Micro-Niches.

On my Twitter feed (@ConsultMcKenna) I’ve been identifying a number of Micro-Niche areas of opportunity that I do not see many law firms exploring.  Here are 11 that I identified in just the past 3 months:

• Robotics. 
Companies in North America added a record number of robots in first 9 months of 2021. Factories and other industrial users ordered 29,000 robots, 37% more than during the same period last year, valued at $1.48 billion.

• Combatting Deepfakes 
IMAGINE a video emerges of a CEO doing something ungodly - from being an insurance industry threat to advancing the need for repetitional management, deepfakes are becoming a reality & can lead to a dip in some company's stock.

• Alternative Finance
Think equity crowdfunding, initial coin offerings (ICOs), tokenization, and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) - many driven by the decentralized finance (DeFi) movement via a public decentralized blockchain network.

• Satellite Industry 
This Industry may be moon-bound (as in 10x by 2030, according to McKinsey). There are many new live satellite imaging data use cases for small- to medium-sized businesses on the horizon.

• BNPL - "Buy Now - Pay Later"
Reshaping how people shop in the US and Europe, it’s remarkable that BNPL growth has found an untapped market of people who can’t or won’t use credit cards.

• “Finfluencers” 
Finance firms have long struggled to reach young and new customers but now Wall Street Influencers are making $500,000, topping even the Bankers. These are social media influencers that use platforms like TikTok and Instagram to make financial advice digestible for younger audiences.

• Cryptocurrency Regulation
SEC Chair Gary Gensle asked Congress for more resources to help oversee the cryptocurrency sector. "Funding-wise, we could use a lot more people", adding that there are 6,000 projects in the space, many of which qualify as securities.

• Food and Beverage Lawsuits
The Food and Drink Industry is facing a swarm of Class Action Lawsuits.  In June, Post agreed to a $15m settlement for marketing sugary cereals with healthy claims.  Meanwhile, McCormick is facing a $3m settlement for advertising artificial ingredients as “natural.”

• Climate Change Litigation
A water-dwelling plant is the lead plaintiff in a novel lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as the White Earth Band of Ojibwe asserts its sovereignty.

• 3D Printed House Construction
A batch of new houses across California is selling unusually fast. In the past two months, 82 have been snapped up, and the waiting list is 1,000 long. The collaborators behind these houses, are able to erect one in less than 24 hours. 

• BioPharma Accelerates Growth
January 2021: 60 vaccine candidates in clinical trials. July 2021: 105 in trials, with 184 in the preclinical phase. New vaccine platforms, such as mRNA & viral-vector platforms, have been validated, enabling new approaches.


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