Sixteenth Annual Norton Rose Fulbright Litigation Trends Survey: Litigation Trends

Happy Presidents Day! Here’s an annual litigation trend that’s been around almost as long as this thing called “eDiscovery”.  🙂 Last week, Norton Rose Fulbright released its sixteenth annual Litigation Trends Survey report, which makes it the longest-running survey of corporate counsel on litigation issues and trends!  And, as usual, there were some interesting results in a very unusual year.

The survey had 183 respondents, of which about two-thirds (66%) were either General Counsel (32%), Head of Litigation (11%) or Associate/Deputy/Assistant GC (22%).  The report includes sections on Methodology (for conducting the survey), Executive Summary, The impact of COVID-19, Emerging issues, Disputes trends and Demographics.

As reported in the Executive Summary, “[n]early 70 percent of respondents reported increasing workloads for their teams, while just 18 percent said they have a mandate to increase in-house team sizes.”  In addition, “this rise in workloads is likely to continue with 7 percent of respondents foreseeing a decrease in disputes next year as a result of COVID-19, compared to 45 percent expecting an increase.”

But, perhaps the most notable stat of all was on the demographics page, which included average dispute activity stats.  While Median Revenue and Median team size were essentially the same from 2019 to 2020, Annual litigation spend, excluding settlement and judgments went from $1.2 million in 2019 all the way down to $729 thousand in 2020, a drop of $471 thousand!

If you want to catch additional highlights from the report, Rob Robinson’s Complex Discovery blog has reported several other highlights here.  However, if you want to read the entire 28 page report, it’s available here.

Speaking of Complex Discovery and surveys, Rob is currently conducting his semi-annual Predictive Coding Technologies and Protocols survey for Spring 2021.  It’s a simple five-question survey designed to capture the current application of technologies, protocols, workflows, and uses of predictive coding in the eDiscovery ecosystem and literally takes about a minute.  You can take the survey here – hurry as there may be only a few days left!

So, what do you think?  Do any of the trends surprise you?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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