Litigation report: Companies caught in bind over differing countries’ discovery, data protection rules
There’s good news and bad news in Norton Rose Fulbright’s 2018 Litigation Trends Annual Survey. The good news is that overall litigation that began against survey respondents is down.
The bad news? Legal departments are increasingly caught between the conflict between discovery and data protection regimes in different countries in cross-border litigation. In fact, say the survey authors, 11 percent more than last year reported that this was a problem.
The survey polled 365 corporate, mostly general, counsel representing U.S.-based companies on disputes and concerns. “Our report examines potential pitfalls for international companies around balancing cross-border discovery requirements and privacy regulation along with sensitive issues, such as facilitating payments,” said Gerry Pech, Norton Rose’s global head of litigation. “We also provide tips about utilizing some of the legal technologies available and managing the field of disputes.”
Among the survey highlights:
- The overall volume of lawsuits decreased slightly.
- But more than a quarter of those surveyed expect an increase in the following year. Technology and life sciences companies will see the greatest increase.
- Two-third of the respondents report feeling more exposed to cybersecurity and data protection disputes this year.
- Arbitrations are slightly up overall, with more clients saying they prefer arbitration over litigation in international disputes.
- Most legal departments rely on technology to tackle processes quickly.
- Less than half of the respondents said they tried embedding lawyers within business units, despite indications that it works as a litigation preventative.