Survey: Companies Expect Increased Litigation and Regulation
It looks like there will be increased litigation due to tightened U.S. government relations. The 2010 Fulbright Jaworski L.L.P. Litigation Trends Survey found that among companies of all sizes, many expect an increase in legal disputes. According to the study, 93% of U.S. and 97% of U.K. respondents expect the number of legal disputes to increase or remain the same in 2011.
According to the study, the data going back the past five years supports the respondents expectations: litigation filings declined in 2006 and 2007 according to respondents, but steadily rose in 2008 and 2009. The trend of increased litigation continued in 2010.
"With reform in two major industries--financial services and health care--and the possibility of greater regulation of offshore petroleum production, regulatory concerns are front-and-center in the minds of in-house legal counsel," said Stephen C. Dillard, the head of Fulbright Jaworski L.L.P.'s global disputes practice. "Even at small-cap companies, regulatory investigations have nearly doubled."
The study found that additional regulators are investigating a diverse array of businesses, both small and large. The greatest increase involves companies that are no stranger to recent legal controversy: banks, health care, and energy companies.
The detailed report is loaded with interesting information about what the future holds for in house legal departments. It is definitely worth checking out and might present a good opportunity to brief your legal team and prepare for an increased workload.
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