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Litigation down in 2011, study says

Fulbright & Jaworski's Litigation Trends Survey also says regulatory actions are climbing

Fulbright & Jaworski recently released its eighth annual Litigation Trends Survey to some surprising results.

According to the survey’s findings, litigation initiated by and brought against U.S. and U.K. companies in 2011 slightly declined. However, the survey also showed that regulatory actions and investigations against businesses are on the rise.

Here are some of the survey’s other results:

  • Respondents reporting at least one lawsuit brought against them in 2011 dropped to 83% from last year’s 87% (In the U.K., it dropped from 75% to 73%)
  • 92% of U.S. companies and 85% of U.K. companies predict litigation will either increase or stay the same in the next year
  • Stricter regulations and company growth were the top reasons respondents gave for the anticipated increase in litigation
  • For two years, regulatory actions have seen a study incline from 34% in 2009 to 37% in 2010 and 40% this year
  • The percentage of respondents who said they worried about the struggling economy declined significantly from last year to 21%. It was 41% in 2010.

"Our survey respondents have a front-row seat to the increased scrutiny brought on by stricter regulatory enforcement," Stephen C. Dillard, the head of Fulbright's global disputes practice, said in a press release. "This year, our survey confirmed a heightened level of governmental investigations focused on the energy and insurance industries, with the health care, manufacturing and engineering sectors not far behind."

Read more results from Fulbright & Jaworski’s annual Litigation Trends Survey

Contributing Author

Cathleen Flahardy

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