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The Mad Clientist

6 Defining Trends for the Litigation Market Ahead

By September 28, 2016April 16th, 2020No Comments

Opportunity abounds in litigation despite an overall flat market. Companies are facing a mounting stream of new complex and bet-the-company matters, while adding 5 new law firms to their litigation rosters.

Clients demand you bring an understanding of their business, culture, and risk tolerance along with your strategy, to win litigation work. This understanding requires investing non-billable and billable time to make it happen—where the reward is a coveted lead position in the largest segment of the legal market.

Every law firm can take advantage of the 6 defining trends for the litigation market ahead:

1. Companies with Bet-the-Company Work Quadruple

More organizations than ever before are facing high-stakes litigation. 

50.6% of large companies report they have active bet-the company matters in 2016, up from 12.8% in 2014. This marks the continuing shift to new opportunities at the high end of the litigation market.

2. Resolution Rates Remain Robust

As top legal decision makers face more complex work—they are more resolute than ever in finding a path to settlement.

These settlements are as much a risk containment strategy as a cost management strategy. Settlement eliminates the risk and the cost—the only question is: at what price does settlement become worth it?

3. Little Change in Litigation Spend, But Opportunity Abounds

Clients see fewer matters and no change in spending. 

This translates into more spending on the matters which do arise. Most of this is going to the higher-rate, complex matters.

4. Twice as Many Companies Expecting Their Law Firms To Do Double Duty

The number clients looking for one firm to handle both the everyday litigation and the more complex and bet-the-company work doubled. 

This poses a challenge for high rate firms to use AFAs for the lower rate work. It also means all but a few firms may have to develop more of an appetite for routine litigation.

5. Employment, IP and Class Actions See Rare Increases in Spending

Spending increases are concentrated in 3 areas of litigation. 

Employment is grabbing more of the budget as clients face ever murkier issues and reinterpretation of existing regulations. IP is surging as companies see more patent trolls and a few activist operating companies. And Class Actions continues a multiyear uphill climb fueled by the scrutiny of financial services, global sales distribution, and more large-scale product failures.

6. Clients Add 5 New Law Firms to Litigation Rosters

Corporate counsel added 5 new law firms to their litigation roster bringing the total count up to a record 22.

Clients are auditioning law firms for future work by testing the 5 newly hired firms. This says clients are not getting what they want from existing firms—a clear opportunity to step in and give clients what they want: superior client service.

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