Law Firms

'Fearsome Foursome': Law Firms In-House Lawyers Fear Most

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Updated: Which law firms do in-house lawyers most fear as an opponent?

The “fearsome foursome” are Boies, Schiller & Flexner; Jones Day; Kirkland & Ellis; and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, according to a survey by the BTI Consulting Group (PDF). Texas Lawyer’s Tex Parte Blog has the results.

The poll asked 240 general counsel and in-house chief litigation officers which firm “would you really rather not see as lead opposing counsel in a litigation case,” Tex Parte says.

Most of the respondents named members of the Fearsome Foursome without prompting. BTI also listed 15 “awesome opponents” selected by the in-house lawyers, as well as more than three dozen “honor roll” firms.

The firms were listed in a BTI Litigation Outlook report for 2013 that is based on more than 350 new, targeted interviews. Other findings:

• The world’s largest companies spend nearly $21 billion a year on litigation in the United States.

• The largest piece of the litigation pie is made up of commercial litigation, accounting for nearly 31 percent of total litigation spending, followed by employment litigation, accounting for 21.5 percent of the spending.

• Corporate counsel are committed to getting litigation “off the books,” resulting in a 19.4 percent increase in resolution rates in the last three years. Higher resolution rates are part of the reason that most organizations have fewer active matters today than a year ago.

• Alternative fee arrangements result in typical litigation savings of 16 percent.

Updated at 10:10 a.m. to include additional information from the report.

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