15 days ago, BTI Consulting issued a report on litigation trends in 2016 entitled, "BTI Litigation Outlook 2016: Changes, Trends and Opportunities for Law Firms". The report itself costs $2400 but BTI's web site includes six bar graphs showing the major trends. See: http://www.bticonsulting.com/6-trends-shaping-litigation . In my opinion it's just as useful to be knowledgeable about such business data and predictions for the purpose of estimating how much and what kind of work firms are likely to be doing, as it is to be on top of the latest scuttlebutt about the field with lawyers and other professionals. The six major trends identified by BTI are:
1. The total spent on litigation will increase in 2016, while the total amount for all matters will decline slightly, despite the opposite direction of these figures in 2014 and 2015.
2. While the business for routine matters has plateaued and that for complex litigation dipped slightly in 2015, it spiked for the high stakes, bet the company cases.
3. The bubble that saw IP litigation business grow almost 20% between 2010 and 2013 has burst and the IP lit field should end up contracting 5 % by 2016.
4. The percentage of active matters that settle has increased greatly since 2009 and reached 47.5% in 2015.
5. After dropping by almost 10% between 2010 and 2013, class action litigation is growing again.
6. There has been a slight decline in the number of different firms that companies have retained in the past two years.