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Survey shows more disputes and potential litigation for U.S. and Europe companies

FCPA Blog-sponsor AlixPartners released its 2014 Litigation and Compliance Survey last week. The report explored the nature and frequency of disputes faced by companies in North American and Europe and the various approaches that companies are undertaking to deal with potential litigation. The survey found that companies in both the U.S. and Europe are experiencing an increase in litigation activity and, as a result, are ramping up their staffing to deal with this issue.

The full report is here.

The report found that 32% reported an increase in the number of legal disputes in which their companies were involved in the 12 months preceding the survey. The most common types of commercial disputes in which the respondents said their companies were involved were: contract (58%); employment (50%); intellectual property or patent infringement (33%); accounting/financial reporting/disclosure (19%); and insurance (19%). (respondents could select multiple categories.)

The report notes that European companies are seeing increases in cross-border disputes. Accordingly, it found that 35% of European respondents said they saw more cross-border disputes had risen during the preceding 12 months. Eleven percent of all respondents at European companies reported that their companies were involved in bet-the-company disputes during the preceding 12 months.

Increased litigation has also led to larger corporate legal departments and more spending. Specifically, 38% reported that their litigation departments had grown in the past year while 47% said that spending on litigation-related activity increased in the past 12 months.


Harvey Kelly is managing director AlixPartners