Labor, Employment Cases Top Business Worries

A new survey of U.S. corporate law departments by Fulbright & Jaworski found that across 13 industries, labor and employment disputes appear to be the most common denominator.

In its third annual survey of corporate litigation trends, with data compiled from 422 in-house law departments worldwide, including 311 companies in the United States, Fulbright says the typical U.S. company faces an average of 305 pending lawsuits internationally.?

For large U.S. companies, or those with $1 billion or more in annual gross revenue, the number of lawsuits increased to 556 cases, the data shows.

Labor Woes

When asked to identify their most pressing litigation concerns, 54% of in-house counsel participating cited labor and employment as one of their top three worries over being sued. This was higher than any other area of dispute, including contracts, intellectual property, antitrust, or securities class actions.

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The report suggests that smaller companies should get hip to unhappy workers, showing that 56% of companies with under $100 million in revenue cited labor-employment as among their top litigation concerns, whereas only 47% of billion-dollar companies said the category was on the top of their litigation dockets.

The data shows that U.S. companies report spending 71% of their overall estimated legal budgets on disputes, with nearly 40% citing at least one $20 million suit filed against them in the past year.?

Another 2% faced 50 new suits or more involving at least $20 million in claims, or more than $1 billion worth of new disputes on the table for some large companies, the survey shows.

The survey finds that large U.S. companies commit an average of $19.8 million to litigation, approximately 58% of total average legal spending of $34.2 million.?

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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