Note: The following is a guest post from Daryn Teague, who provides support to the litigation software product line within the LexisNexis software division.
Class action lawsuits are the number-one litigation issue on the minds of in-house counsel at companies in the U.S., Canada and Australia, according to a new survey.
The global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright released its 2015 Litigation Trends Annual Survey report recently, the most extensive in the 11-year history of the well-respected benchmarking survey. The survey polled more than 800 corporate counsel team members at companies operating in 26 countries to gauge their views on a wide range of litigation trends, issues and concerns.
We reviewed the highlights of this year’s survey report and noted five key takeaways that should be of interest to litigation professionals:
1. Class Actions are everywhere. “A quarter of all respondents reported at least one class or group action against their companies in the preceding 12 months, with survey participants from the US comprising 80 percent of that number. And 71 percent of those who reported a class action had more than one filed against their companies in the previous 12 months.”
2. Government investigations cause most headaches. “Regulatory and investigations matters are a focus for in-house counsel, with 39 percent of respondents citing those issues as their top concern. Among companies with revenues of US $1 billion or more, 51 percent indicate they have one or more regulatory proceeding pending against them. Half of respondents indicate their company has retained outside counsel for assistance in a government or regulatory investigation.”
3. Litigation and regulatory proceedings to grow. “Overall, 25 percent of respondents anticipate litigation against their companies increasing in the next 12 months, compared with just 14 percent who predict it will decrease. Twenty-two (22) percent increased the number of outside firms on their rosters in the past year, and half of all respondents have spent more time during the last three years addressing regulatory requests or enforcement proceedings.”
4. Lawsuits over contracts and workforce most common. “Respondents were given a list of more than 20 categories of pending litigation their companies faced over the past 12 months, and asked to select the top three to five. Contracts, labor/employment and regulatory/investigations received the most selections from respondents, followed by personal injury and IP/patents.”
5. Litigation more robust in U.S. “U.S.-based respondents reported a more litigious business environment than their peers, with 55 percent facing more than five lawsuits filed against their companies in the previous 12 months, compared with 23 percent in the UK and 22 percent in Australia. Just 18 percent of U.S. companies reported no lawsuits, compared with 42 percent in the UK and 36 percent in Australia.”
* * *
Readers may request a copy of a white paper from Norton Rose Fulbright with detailed results of the survey.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
Legal Spend Trend: Big Law Winning More IP Litigation Work