Sixty percent of the U.S. in-house lawyers who responded to the survey said they hired outside counsel for a regulatory investigation during the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30, 2012. That compares to 55 percent who responded to the same question on the previous version of the survey.
“The regulatory thing is here to stay,” says Otway Denny Jr., chairman of the global litigation department at Houston-based Fulbright. He says regulatory work includes defending companies from investigations conducted by federal and state agencies.
A total of 392 in-house lawyers, including 275 in the United States and 100 in the United Kingdom, participated in the survey, which was conducted between July and September 2012. The responses apply to the 12-month period beginning Oct. 1, 2012, says Dan McKenna, media relations director at Fulbright. The survey results were made public today.
Of the respondents, 92 percent expect litigation pending against their companies to increase or stay at the same level in 2013 as in 2012. It was 89 percent in the previous survey.
Additionally, 86 percent of the in-house lawyers reported at least one new suit filed against their companies during the previous 12-month period, compared to 73 percent on the previous survey.
And 60 percent of the companies filed at least one suit during the 12-month period that ended on Sept. 30, 2012, compared to only 48 percent during the previous 12-month period.
Contract disputes, labor and employment matters, and personal injury suits are the most prevalent suits filed against U.S. and U.K companies, according to the survey.
Among other results, the survey notes that companies are spending more on litigation, with 54 percent of the companies spending more than $1 million on litigation during the 12-month period, compared to only 51 percent during the previous 12-month period.
— Brenda Sapino Jeffreys