2005 Litigation Trends Survey

As an industry, technology companies have the third largest number of pending lawsuits against them in the U.S. Intellectual property cases are some of the most expensive lawsuits to litigate, and technology companies are far more concerned about intellectual property cases than any other industry.

Those are included among the findings of the 2005 Litigation Trends Survey conducted for Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., an international law firm that also identified the number one message in-house lawyers would like to deliver to outside lawyers: control legal expense costs.

The survey contains a number of findings that provide support for producers who urge their tech/internet, media and manufacturing clients to buy E&O coverage. The survey indicates it is particularly important for technology and manufacturing clients to make sure their E&O policies include copyright, trademark and certain other intellectual property coverages, since those IP protections are not always included in base policy forms for those kinds of buyers.

The survey was based on responses from 354 corporate counsel. The median-sized company responding reported annual gross revenues of $484 million.

Other findings from those respondents:

· 87 percent of U.S. corporations are engaged in some type of litigation.

· The average U.S. company surveyed had 37 pending lawsuits in the U.S. Companies with revenues under $100 million averaged 15 cases. Companies with $1 billion or more in revenue averaged 147 cases, and companies in between had 30.

· The health care industry averaged 64 cases per company. Energy companies followed with 49 and technology/communications companies with 42. Manufacturing companies were in fourth position with 40.

· Respondents appeared more concerned about litigation costs than about winning the cases. They chose “control costs” as the message to litigation counsel over other options including “win cases” and “get results.” This message appeared to possibly conflict with findings in another question relating to how success of corporate counsel is measured. Good results was the response of 50 percent of respondents, while cost efficiency finished second at 36 percent.

· Cases most likely to cost over $500,000 to litigate were intellectual property cases.

For more details, see Fulbright and Jaworski’s news release on the firm’s website.