Companies in the consumer products space are expecting more high-risk products lawsuits this year with escalating legal bills.
Research by Morrison & Foerster identified a number of industry drivers and areas of concern. With one out of three legal matters in 2017 viewed as high risk or complex, one out of five in-house counsel are anticipating more high-risk products lawsuits in 2018. The following areas are expected to give rise to the most new case activity in 2018: product liability (45 per cent), data privacy (44 per cent), and regulatory/compliance (42 per cent). Meanwhile the biggest concerns within legal departments are: litigation (69 per cent), protection of brand equity (60 per cent), privacy and data security (56 per cent), regulatory issues/government enforcement (49 per cent), and product liability (44 per cent). Approximately two out of five legal departments expect their litigation costs to increase in 2018, the research found. The most important drivers of change for consumer products companies in 2018 will be: the economy (78 per cent), government regulatory change (71 per cent), and technological advancements (59 per cent).