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In-house Counsel

More Gov’t Regulations Prompt More Litigation For In-House Counsel

Posted Oct 15, 2010 2:00 PM CDT
By Rachel M. Zahorsky

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In-house counsel predict an imminent boost in litigation as government regulations continue to tighten. The legal departments at banking, health care and energy companies are especially preparing for the legal fallout from recent health-care reform legislation and the overhauled financial services industry, the Blog of Legal Times reports.

One-third of U.S. companies polled expect an uptick in litigation, an increase from 9 percent last year, according to a survey of 275 in-house lawyers by Fulbright and Jaworski, the blog notes.

"With reform in two major industries—financial services and health care—and the possibility of greater regulation of offshore petroleum production, regulatory concerns are front-and-center in the minds of in-house legal counsel," Stephen Dillard, the head of Fulbright's global disputes practice, said in a statement, the blog reports. "Even at small-cap companies, regulatory investigations have nearly doubled."

Despite the increase, only 43 percent of U.S. law firms relied on outside counsel to assist with regulatory matters, down 4 percent from last year.

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