A recent survey released by law firm Carlton Fields indicates that many companies expect to spend less on defending class action litigation in 2012, despite an increase in cases.

In “The 2012 Carlton Fields Class Action Survey,” the law firm polled 300 in-house lawyers about what they expect with regard to class action litigation this year. Despite respondents reporting that they do expect an uptick in various types of class actions, the survey revealed they don’t expect to be footing a higher bill.

Respondents reported that they expect to see the most class action activity in labor and employment. Consumer fraud and privacy tied for second and product liability came in third.

Despite the increase in cases, they said they plan to reduce spending by about 17 percent. And to do so, they are looking to boost their use of alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) for class actions, a noted trend. In 2011, only 23.9 percent of companies reported they had planned to use AFAs for class actions, but this year 45.8 percent of respondents said they planned to.

Read more about the report in the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog