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Clients are completely reassessing how they hire law firms and their strategy for moving forward. This reboot can be your best friend—but only if you make the trends work for you. Here are the most important 9:

  1. Litigation spending on outside counsel is up 6% since 2018—in-house departments are not designed for the volatile nature of the workload and risk

  2. Clients expect spending per matter to go up—although they expect the tide of matters to slow, the number of high-risk matters is driving spending per matter up

  3. Clients continue to add new law firms to their rosters in hopes of finding what they want—they have new expectations based on substantial changes in their caseloads

  4. Companies with bet-the-company work virtually double—the financial exposures are creating a new category of bet-the-company work

  5. 5 out of the 6 major litigation segments will see new spending—clients see few sources of spending reprieve

  6. Clients expect to settle 25% more cases than they settled in the last 2 years—the bright note for clients: they are becoming more skilled in settling the surge of new complex matters

  7. Class Action rates are likely to rival bet-the-company rates—the risks in class actions are growing faster than almost any other segment

  8. High Tech companies are bracing for the biggest increases in high-risk and bet-the-company litigation—they expect increases in IP Litigation spending, major supply chain issues, and intense public and government scrutiny

  9. Commercial Litigation is expected to surge in 6 industries—while the litigation pressure is largely across the board, 6 of the largest-spending industries will see the biggest increases

The outside counsel spending increases far outpace increases in clients’ total budgets. This means one thing—any work not in the high-risk category is going to get squeezed. Bring out your best AFAs for the rate-sensitive work. Knowing the nature and scope of the work is the key to pricing and pitching—an advantage for existing law firms. If you are working with a new prospective client, an initial planning session will tell you what you need to know—and differentiate you from most other law firms.

Clients are searching for the right law firms right now. Join the more than 100 law firms already using BTI Litigation Outlook 2020: Changes, Trends and Opportunities for Law Firms and see for yourself how and why clients are hiring for the best litigation opportunities to come along in years.