One-third of U.S. Companies Expect More Lawsuits in ’09
Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) – by Elaine Porterfield Contributing Writer
Many in-house attorneys at U.S. companies believe lawsuits will increase as economic conditions worsen.
Such is the finding of the 2008 Litigation Trends Survey by international law firm Fulbright & Jaworski. It’s the fifth annual survey by the firm, which claims this is the largest survey of corporate counsel on litigation trends.
The survey polled 358 in-house counsel in the United States and the United Kingdom. Of those, 251 were U.S. respondents.
“I certainly am seeing a trend in terms of more these disputes,” said Richard Seward, an attorney with offices in Port Orchard and Seattle who represents small business. “And I think the consensus is that it’s going to get worse… There’s going to be an increase in the number of bankruptcy filings. Commercial disputes will continue to increase, and foreclosures will increase. I’m certainly seeing it in my practice.”
The survey did hold some interesting information, Seward said.
“What really surprised me is 27 percent of U.S. companies had more than 20 lawsuits commenced against them in the last year,” he said. “That tells me a lot of companies are suffering from monetary defaults.”