Could 2014 be the Year of Litigation?
It seems to be shaping up that way, says one legal consulting firm.
More than 60 percent of law firms expect a jump in the number of litigation matters in their caseloads next year, according to a new report from The BTI Consulting Group of Massachusetts.
The forecast focuses on large firms with billions in annual revenues. But it seems likely that the wave of litigation will trickle down to small and medium-sized firms and even solos.
“Each new matter represents an opportunity for new business,” says BTI’s Litigation Outlook 2014. “Corporate clients will be busier and focused on litigation.”
Litigation is the biggest line item in a typical corporate legal budget – accounting for up to 40 percent of all dollars spent on lawyers annually. This puts it way ahead of other areas like contracts, securities and employment law.
6 Ways to Attract New Litigation Clients
BTI Consulting Group conducted hundreds of interviews with biglaw partners, litigation managers and general counsel across the country.
Here are some questions those decision makers will be asking as they search for an outside litigation firm:
- Do you try to keep litigation costs down by providing accurate case assessments, realistic timelines and tight control over expenses?
- Are you open to alternative fee arrangements – flat fees, tiered pricing, contingent fees and the like – other than hourly billing?
- Do you outsource routine administrative tasks?
- Do you focus on settlements?
- Do you handle cases efficiently and avoid assigning waves of associates, paralegals and support staff – all of whom bill separately – to tackle a single matter?
- Do you have experience with mediation, arbitration and alternative dispute methods?
The stakes are high. Litigation is a $21 billion market, experts say. The leading areas are commercial litigation ($6.2 billion) and employment litigation ($4.4 billion). Other hot sectors: IP litigation, securities and finance, product liability and class actions.
The average number of new litigation matters filed in 2014 is predicted to rise to 116 per company.
Is your firm poised to snag a piece of the action?
Jay Reeves a/k/a The Risk Man is an attorney licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. Formerly he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 919-619-2441.
- BTI Consulting Group – The Mad Clientist http://www.btibuzz.com/