Cross-border litigation on the rise

Cross-border litigation on the riseThere has been a rise in cross-border litigation in recent years, according to a new survey.

Research by international law firm Hogan Lovells showed more in-house legal professionals are having to deal with increasingly complex regulatory measures and legal systems as companies expand their operations.

More than 50 per cent of the 146 lawyers polled felt there would be an increase in cross-border disputes over the next two years.

It was also discovered that existing cross-border cases are already involving a number of nations, with 90 per cent dealing with two or three countries and some crossing into as many as 50 different jurisdictions.

This creates a number of challenges for firms and staff and it is crucial for board members to develop a strategy to cope with potential problems.

Dennis Tracey, partner in Hogan Lovells’ litigation and arbitration practice, said: “Given the significant costs and challenges associated with cross-border litigation, it is critical for companies to anticipate and implement a strategy to address these disputes before they occur.

“The approach must be global, coordinated and consistent, and it needs to be implemented as soon as possible.”

In particular, executives raised concerns over issues with unfamiliar rules, different time zones and cultural nuances. It is also difficult to secure appropriately skilled general counsel in new region and this can cause unnecessary delays.

The survey found that China, England, France, Germany and the US were the most common markets for cross-border disputes but U.S., China, Brazil and India presented the most challenging environments.

Customers and suppliers were the main sources of cross-border disputes but cases with regulators accounted for 25 per cent and ten per cent involved anti-trust issues.

The latest figures from the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority show there are now 26,000 solicitors working in-house at UK companies as businesses strive to ensure they met as compliance, auditing and regulatory measures efficiently.