Eight Key Litigation Trends

Eight Key Litigation Trends
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  Eight Key Litigation Trends print1!ecem er 5$ 2005 %ollowing are &e' fin(ings in the 2005 %ul right an( )awors&i 2005 *itigation +ren(s ,ur-e'.1 *itigation !oc&etsight'se-en percent of merican companies are engage( in some form of litigation in the nite( ,tates. +went' percent ha( one to three cases pen(ing$ nearl' a uarter ha(   etween four an( 10 cases pen(ing$ an( another uarter of respon(ents ha( up to 50 cases pen(ing. +hat still left a full 20 percent facing an a-erage caseloa( of 50 to 100 litigation matters. i-en how much of an eualizer litigation ishitting all companies regar(less of size$ in(ustr' or regional (ifferencesit seems remar&a le that as much as 13 percent of .,. companies sur-e'e( manage( to a-oi( usiness (isputes. ompanies most li&el' to   e litigationfree are those with re-enues un(er 100 million. 7owe-er$ 12 percent of 1   illionplus companies also reporte( that the' are free of litigation$ which ma' e one of the sur-e's iggest surprises.9n a-erage across all sectors$ .,. companies carrie( a .,. (oc&et of 3 lawsuits. 2 ,ector ,pecific+he .,. healthcare in(ustr' ha( the greatest num er of pen(ing litigation matters$ withan a-erage of 64 cases. nerg' companies were secon( in line with 4; pen(ing litigation cases$ followe( ' technolog'/communications <with 42 pen(ing cases an( manufacturers <with 40. +ie( for fifth place were insurance pro-i(ers an( real estate companies <with 3; pen(ing cases each. %illing the remain(er of the fiel(: finance <34 cases an( retail/wholesale <22 cases.3 *itigation as a =ercentage of 9-erall *egal ,pen(ingmong counsel who trac& litigation costs$ a out a uarter sai( that litigation accounts for 21 to 50 percent of their legal u(gets> an a((itional 12 percent reporte( that litigationepenses accounte( for more than 50 percent of the total legal u(get. @ro&en out ' size$ counsel for 15 percent of mi(mar&et companies an( 16 percent of usinesses in the 1 illionplus range reporte( that litigation consumes more than half of their legal   u(gets. %or companies with re-enues un(er 100 million$ that figure (roppe( to onl' 8  percent. +ranslate( into the ottom line$ nearl' a uarter of .,. companies are spen(ing 2 percent or more of their gross re-enues on legal fees> 10 percent of them spen( more than 5 percent.@' in(ustr' sector$ 23 percent of insurance compan' inhouse counsel reporte( that their litigation u(gets account for more than half of their total legal u(gets. Aore than a thir( of manufacturing an( energ' companies spen( etween 21 percent an( 50 percent of their legal u(gets on litigation> the same is true for more than a uarter of  retail/wholesale$ health care an( technolog'/communication companies. Bn contrast$ 26  percent of real estate an( finance compan' respon(ents reporte( spen(ing less than 20  percent of their legal u(gets on litigation. 4 *itigation ost -eragingCespon(ents ha( (ifficult' in a-eraging costs for specific t'pes of litigation matters$ with man' sa'ing that costs -arie( too wi(el' to ma&e har( estimates. 5 Bs +hat a Dew ,uit?7ow much of corporate mericas litigation (oc&et is new this 'ear? +wothir(s of the companies sur-e'e( were slappe( with a summons an( complaint (uring the past 'ear> almost a thir( of them were hit with etween si to 20 lawsuits$ an( 18 percent were hit with more than 21. 9n a-erage$ small companies were hit with onl' three new lawsuits$ while mi(mar&et companies were hit with 1. @usinesses in the 1 illionplus clu were ser-e( with an a-erage of 65 new lawsuits. 6 ,hifting Coles as =laintiffs/!efen(antsAore than half of the companies sur-e'e( are comforta le in the role of plaintiff$ filing at least one action in the past 'ear. +he a-erage .,. compan' initiate( 11 new lawsuits an( two ar itrations (uring the past 'ear. *arger companies are more litigious in general. +he 1 illionplus group was two times as li&el' as their un(er100 million counterparts to commence lawsuits or ar itrations. %inance companies are the most  proacti-e in starting litigation. Ehos Ain(ing the !oc&et?%ew .,. companies (ont ha-e an inhouse counsel. 9nl' 8 percent of corporate law (epartments get ' without a staff law'er managing compan' litigation matters$ while 44  percent ha( at least one staff litigator. 8 merging *it =ressuress&e( to i(entif' the iggest litigationrelate( ur(en that (i( not eist three 'ears ago$ inhouse counsel pointe( to electronic (isco-er'$ followe( ' Fincrease( regulator'/complianceF issues$ which is a certain legac' of the ,ar anes9le' ct of 2002.
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