Fulbright Jaworski issues latest litigation trends survey

law firm marketing, Fulbright & JaworskiFulbright & Jaworski has released new research surveying senior corporate counsel on their experiences and opinions regarding various aspects of litigation and related matters. This year's survey focused on respondents from companies based in the United States and the United Kingdom. There-were 253 U.S. corporate counsel and 50 U.K. corporate counsel who participated in the survey, a statistically significant sample.

Among the findings this year are these data points:

  • The number of lawsuits filed against companies in the survey appears to be down from last year, returning to levels similar to 2005.
  • However, suits with $20 million or more at stake are on the rise. All of the smallest and mid-sized company respondents reported at least one lawsuit of that magnitude in the past year. Twenty percent of the largest companies surveyed had 21-50 lawsuits of that size.
  • Almost 40% of the largest companies surveyed spent $5 million or more annually on litigation, excluding settlements and awards.
  • Companies in the United Kingdom are more likely to spend more money on regulatory matters than their American counterparts.
  • In the records retention area, 31 % of all the companies in the survey now log or retain instant messages, and 40% retain voice mail.
  • There has been a substantial uptrend in the use of litigation hold policies over the past three years, especially in the UK
  • The majority of respondents expect the use of international arbitration to remain at present levels or increase.
  • There is substantial confidence in the enforceability of international arbitration awards abroad. About three-quarters of respondents say that enforcing awards outside their country is about the same as in their home country.
  • More than half of all respondents said their companies had at least one class action pending.
  • Over the last three years, UK companies experienced significant increases in the number of internal investigations and external regulatory inquiries/investigations.
  • American companies saw declines in both internal investigations and regulatory inquiries/ investigations.
  • Thirty-one percent of the largest companies in the survey had received requests from the government for waiver of attorney-client privilege in the past 12 months in enforcement actions, and 17% of United States companies had agreed to waive the privilege.
  • Patent infringement claims are rising. Over the past three years, more than half of the companies with $1 billion or more in revenues have had an increase in the number of patent infringement claims they have received
  • Aside from the cost of litigation, the most widespread concern about enforcing patents or trademarks is the possibility of patent invalidation or loss of trademark registration in court.
  • Despite good intentions, 27% of us. companies believe that the new federal rules on e-discovery have made the problem more difficult.
  • Stock option backdating is still a hot issue. Twenty-six percent of  US companies considered an internal investigation into backdating.

For copies of the survey in a PDF format visit www.fulbright.com/litigationtrends.

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