60% of Clients Replaced a Core Litigation Firm—The Law Firm Purge Has Begun

BTI’s just completed research[1] with over 300 General Counsel finds two trends driving how the litigation market will unfold in 2015:

  1. Bet-the-company matters have dropped by 50%. 
    Aggressive settlement strategies and heightened focus on case elimination—not trial—sparks a 50% decline in bet-the-company matters over the past 2 years. Now clients are chipping away at the complex work as well, with the number of complex matters declining approximately 9%. Long-term, BTI expects these numbers will creep back up; short-term, clients are improving management of complex matters.

  2. Fully 60% of corporate counsel replaced at least one core litigation firm in the last 18 months.
    In their push to resolve and eliminate litigation, clients upend their roster of litigation law firms.
  • Work reassigned to a new core firm able to provide:

– Faster turn-around times
– More innovative approaches
– Better client service
– Systematic approaches to:

- Settlements
- Early case assessment
- A sense of flexibility in approaching rates and fees

  • Institutional knowledge concentrated between fewer firms to promote streamlined approaches to case management

Point 2 above is helping deliver point 1. 

The law firms winning new work are now winning a greater portion of work than in prior years. The message is clear: clients stick with firms able to help them meet their goals. These new core firms are taking a lead role in assessing cases early and recommending settlement strategies. In short, these firms are engaged to the point where other law firms can’t get their foot in the door. By helping clients in the assessment and settlement stages, these proactive firms have the litigation work before any other firm hears about it.

Corporate counsel expect another jump in the number of litigation cases for 2015—it’s a perfect time to define a process of regular and systematic litigation triage so you are at the head of the line.

BTI Litigation Outlook 2015 is your tool to use today’s market trends and corporate counsel demands to win more clients, more business, and higher rates.

[1] Based on BTI research conducted between March 2014 and September 2014. BTI conducted more than 300 independent, individual interviews with CLOs and General Counsel at Fortune 1000 companies and large organizations. This new research is available now in the just-released BTI Litigation Outlook 2015