E-Discovery Effectiveness

Given the number of e-discovery tips out there, you’d think companies would be experts at retrieving crucial information quickly and accurately. But many national and domestic corporations say their compatriots would be unable to access necessary information if a regulator asked for it, according to a new report from Epiq Systems.

The survey results, which include responses from U.S., French, British and German companies, are below:

58% Respondents that said most companies in their sectors would not be able to access key information on short notice

69% French companies that doubted the abilities of their sectors’ companies (the most of any nation surveyed)

47% German companies that said most businesses would not be able to retrieve information quickly and accurately (the least of any nation surveyed)

56% U.S. corporations that said companies would have trouble retrieving the required information

Domain Demand

A recent expansion of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) has companies scrambling to register almost 2,000 new domains. Among the new gTLDs are .porn, .sex and .adult, leading some companies to fear that their brand names could be tarnished by X-rated online counterparts. And though most trademark attorneys are aware of the program, few have closely studied the expansion, according to a recent survey from Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services.

More survey results are below:

91% Respondents who are aware of the new top-level domain program

36% Respondents who have read the gTLD Application Guidebook

55% Attorneys who think the new domains pose a “high” or “moderate” risk to their clients’ online brands and trademarks

47% Respondents who say they are “somewhat prepared” or “very prepared” to monitor TLD applications and respond using official comment channels, though only 12 percent have done so before

Slowing Statistics

The first quarter of 2012 saw a continued uptick in law firm mergers, but that trend appears to be slowing, according to two reports from Altman Weil and Thomson Reuter’s Hildebrandt Institute. The consulting companies attribute the second-quarter decline to several factors, including the cautionary tale of Dewey & LeBoeuf.

14 First-quarter mergers this year, according to Altman Weil

10 Second-quarter mergers this year, according to Altman Weil

20 First-quarter mergers in 2012, according to Hildebrandt Institute

5 Second-quarter mergers in 2012, also according to Hildebrandt

Chemical Combinations

Despite the reported decline in mergers, the global industrial and chemicals sector is still riding high after a 2011 rebound, according to the second installment of Squire Sanders’ Global M&A series. The study attributes some of the 2011 rise in mergers to companies’ desire to strengthen their global market presence, although plenty of small to medium-sized businesses also got in on the action. 

2,692 Total industrial and chemical transactions in 2011

$354.7 billion Total value of those transactions, the highest aggregate deal value since 2007

13% Increase in the number of transactions valued at $1 billion or more

42% Percentage of deals that were cross-border, up from 40 percent in 2010

2/3 2011 deals in the $5 million to $100 million range

SEC Settlements

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent crackdown on corporate crime is reaping dividends in the form of individual settlements, according to a recent report from NERA Economic Consulting. As individual settlements have increased, so have the value of those settlements, although the median value of settlements with companies has declined from a record 2011 high.

Read more from the survey below:

286 Individual defendants who settled with the SEC in the first half of the 2012 fiscal year (FY)

20% Projected increase in individual settlements over FY2011.

120 Number of projected insider trading settlements in the 2012 fiscal year, up from 63 in FY2011

$190,000 Median settlement value for individuals in the first half of 2012