Norton Rose Fulbright releases 2016 Litigation Trends Annual Survey – Canada report

Global Knowledge October 24, 2016

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has released its 2016 Litigation Trends Annual Survey – Canada report.

Over 80 corporate counsel and business leaders from companies across Canada participated in this year’s global survey, providing their perspectives on litigation-related issues and concerns. Globally, Norton Rose Fulbright polled over 600 individuals in 24 countries.

This year’s most notable trend is that Canadian companies are not as proactive as their global peers in adopting measures to mitigate the risk of litigation. This at a time when organizations face continuing cost pressures from discovery, class action litigation and regulatory investigations.

Report highlights include:

  • While contracts and labour disputes remain the most numerous types of disputes, there is an uptick in class action litigation faced by Canadian companies surveyed, which has more than doubled from the year before.
  • Almost half of the Canadian companies surveyed reported seeing a change in regulatory activity, citing that the regulators have become more interventionist in the last 12 months.
  • Regulatory/ investigation matters give greater concern relative to their frequency, which is not surprising given the reputational risk and potential impact of an investigation on an organization.

Jane Caskey, Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Head of Risk Advisory, said:

“Part of being risk ready is appreciating that you cannot control everything,” she noted. “It is critical to have a risk response team. We want to support our clients to manage risks in a way that allows them to achieve their business goals and strategies.”

In response to these findings, Norton Rose Fulbright has built a global litigation minimization framework, which comes as a result of reviewing and collating successful measures taken by companies facing disputes around the world.

This framework is adaptable to suit a company’s specific situation, allowing in-house counsel to review their current approach and implement measures to reduce litigation risk and costs.

“The framework is intended to act as a starting point to help your organization think about how to proactively address the level of litigation, and provides a disciplined process through which you can actually minimize the risk of litigation,” added Roger Smith, Norton Rose Fulbright Head of Litigation in Canada.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s 2016 Litigation Trends Annual Survey – Canada report - also provides an outlook on how Canadian companies compare to their US and global counterparts as well as offers benchmarks on litigation spending and resourcing.

Canada report is a part of a global initiative and represents the firm’s Canadian results.

The complete 2016 Litigation Trends Annual Survey – Canada report - can be found here.