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Survey: 73% of Energy Companies Faced At Least 1 New Lawsuit in '07

Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., issused its annual U.S. Litigation Trends survey this past week.

Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., released its annual U.S. Litigation Trends survey this past week. Fulbright found that 73% of energy companies faced at least one new lawsuit last year, with 45% facing six or more new suits in the past year. And 27% of the energy companies surveyed reported facing at least one $20 million action.

Litigation has obviously become a major line item in energy company budgets. A quarter (25%) of the energy firms reporting in the Fulbright study said that they spent at least $5 million on litigation, excluding costs of settlements and judgments, while 52% reported spending over $1 million per year on business disputes.

The Fulbright & Jaworski Litigation Trends survey is designed to take a macro look at the landscape for business disputes in the U.S. and U.K. The survey reports on findings from multiple industries, as well as breakdowns by company size and region. The survey spans numerous topics, from the most prevalent types of lawsuits that businesses face to what new legal burdens are impacting their budgets.

Energy companies’ in-house law departments reported contract matters (57%) were their biggest concern, followed by environmental/Toxic Tort (45%) and personal injury matters (32% each).

Thirty percent of energy companies expect litigation to increase in the next year, while only 9% are expecting a drop in suits.

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