GCs Expect More High-Stakes Litigation: Report

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By Michael Greene

Sept. 28 — Corporate counsel are expecting litigation spending to increase in 2016, according to a report by BTI Consulting Group.

However, it's not all good news for law firms looking for more legal work. While the report anticipates that more high-rate work will be up for grabs next year, it also expects fewer litigation matters to be on corporate counsel dockets.

BTI's Litigation Outlook 2016, which is based on 322 in-depth interviews with leading legal decision-makers conducted between March 9 and Sept. 10, suggests that there will be more competition among law firms for premium work.

‘Bet-the-Company Litigation' Up

The rise in premium work appears to be part of a trend of more companies being involved in high-stakes litigation. According to the report, 37.2 percent of companies faced “bet-the-company” litigation in 2015, up from 12.3 percent in 2014.

BTI President and blog author Michael Rynowecer told Bloomberg BNA that with the uptick in global transactions, the growing number of class actions and activist investors driving securities litigation, there is “some fairly substantial litigation on the horizon.”

According to Rynowecer, one way law firms can win more of this increasing premium-rate work is to talk to their clients early and frequently.

If clients are planning something that involves high-stakes legal work, such as a major acquisition, “you're not going to know about it unless you engage” with them, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Greene in Washington at mgreene@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Yin Wilczek at ywilczek@bna.com

The report is available at http://www.bticonsulting.com/litigation-outlook-reports-highlights/.