Companies have never spent more to defend against class action lawsuits. Yet the number of in-house attorneys dedicated to handling class actions and the amount of time they focus on them is on the decline.
Those are a few of the findings that jump off the page of the 12th annual class action survey by law firm Carlton Fields, based on interviews with senior legal team members at more than 400 large companies from various industries. According to the survey, spending on class actions increased by 8% to $3.64 billion in 2022 and companies dedicated 14.4% of their legal budgets to class action defense—up from 13% two years ago. That said, the average number of in-house attorneys dedicated to class actions has decreased from a high of 4.5 in 2018 down to 3.3 in 2022. Year-over-year in-house attorneys who work on class actions spent 13% less of their time on them—down from 17.6 hours per week in 2021 to 15.3 hours per week last year.