Litigation Rebounds, While Regulation Hits High

Companies in the United States and United Kingdom dealt with more litigation in 2012 and  see further increases  in 2013 while  heightened regulatory activity is also expected to  continue, according to the 9th Annual Litigation Trends Survey from international law firm Fulbright & Jaworski.

The majority of all respondents—92 percent (compared with 89 percent in last year’s survey)—expect the number of legal disputes their companies will face to rise or stay the same in the next 12 months.

One-quarter of U.S. respondents and 32 percent of U.K. respondents expect litigation to rise in 2013. Companies from the retail, energy, and health care industries have the highest expectations for a rise in the number of disputes.

After a one-year decline, businesses on both sides of the Atlantic initiated and faced more lawsuits in 2012 than they did in 2011. In the U.S., labor and employment disputes and contract litigation led the way.

Meanwhile, respondents to the Fulbright survey adapted to a stricter regulatory environment in 2012, both at home and abroad, as regulatory investigations reached a five-year high.

Indeed, Fulbright’s poll of corporate law departments found that the rate of companies retaining outside counsel for assistance in a regulatory investigation jumped in the U.S. from 55 percent in 2011 to 60 percent in 2012, and in the U.K. skyrocketed from 27 percent to 72 percent.

In a press release Otway Denny, head of Fulbright’s global disputes practice, says:

As litigation rebounded in 2012, more companies, particularly in energy, health care, and manufacturing, experienced an increase in government and regulatory investigations. All three of these industries, along with technology, were involved in investigations that concerned at least six different U.S. regulators.†

The survey gathered input from 392 in-house attorneys, including 275 U.S. respondents, onlitigation issues and trends.

Check out I.I.I. facts and statistics on litigiousness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *