Shoosmiths publishes report on the litigation challenges that lie ahead for businesses

Law Firm Shoosmiths has released its latest report on trends in litigation for businesses, based on a survey of more than 360 general counsel and senior in-house lawyers from financial services, automotive, technology and other sectors.

The report, titled Litigation Risk 2024: assessing the litigation outlook for business, provides insights and perspectives on the dispute resolution environment, the challenges and the inherent risks that lie ahead. It also offers practical advice and guidance on how to anticipate, mitigate and respond to disputes effectively and efficiently.

Key findings in the report include:

  • Litigation is on the rise – a large proportion (82%) of respondents anticipate more disputes over the next three years with group litigation, environmental disputes, supply chain disputes and employment issues being most concerning.
  • But Boards are misaligned with GCs on risk – While there is a degree of alignment between boards and legal teams on the key areas of litigation risk, there is room for improvement in all but 13% of the respondents’ businesses.
  • GCs and Boards disagree on significance of data breaches – Two in five (38%) respondents say data breach follow-on litigation is one of their board’s top concerns, but GCs and legal teams see it as less of a worry.
  • Litigation spend and headcount is set to increase – with more than three in four senior lawyers expecting to increase headcount and 82% expect to increase spending on dispute resolution over the next three years.
  • GCs require additional support in identifying new risks – Companies are more confident in their ability to respond to disputes than they are in their ability to identify emerging areas of risk. Half are not horizon-scanning insights into legal changes and 64% do not undertake trend analysis on their sector.
  • GCs require strategic approaches to risk mitigation – Fewer than half of respondents provide internal training on specific litigation risks, only 46% conduct litigation preparedness reviews and only 36% carry out contract audits. One senior in-house lawyer states: “As a business we could employ much more joined up thinking, everybody tends to work in silos with little awareness of the company’s overall risk profile.”

The report also explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brexit transition, the climate crisis and the digital transformation on the litigation landscape, and how businesses can adapt and respond to these challenges. It also examines the changing attitudes and behaviours of litigants, the use of alternative dispute resolution methods, the role of litigation funding and insurance, and the future of litigation technology.

Alex Bishop, partner and head of dispute resolution and litigation at Shoosmiths, said: “We are delighted to share our report with our clients and the wider business community, as we believe it offers valuable insights and recommendations on how to navigate the complex and dynamic litigation landscape.

“We have spoken to hundreds of senior lawyers across different sectors and jurisdictions, and analysed data from litigation analytics platform Solomonic, to identify the emerging areas of litigation risk, the impact of the economic and technological disruption, and the best practices for dispute resolution and mitigation.

“We hope our report will help businesses to prepare for the inevitable disputes that will arise, and to minimise the associated costs, risks and reputational damage.”

The report is available to download from the Shoosmiths website here: Litigation risk 2024 report (

Litigation is an important chosen market for Shoosmiths along with Real Estate and Corporate, as it doubles down on focus to lead the upper mid-market of law firms by 2030.

The firm continues to invest in this chosen market and has recently welcomed new dispute resolution and litigation partner Andrew Whalley to the business and has also recently supercharged its disputes team with Solomonic, a litigation insights platform.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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