A ratio of the number of major lawsuits compared to major arbitrations: 5 to 1?

The Eighth Annual Litigation Trends Survey Report of Fulbright & Jaworski found (at 13) that 18 percent of its 405 responding companies faced at least one lawsuit with more than $20 million at issue (5% of the respondents faced 6 or more). There is no breakdown given for U.S. and UK participants. A page later, the Report says that four percent of the U.S. respondents were involved in at least one arbitration of that size (12% among the UK participants).

If all we knew were those figures, is it plausible to bump up the percentage for the U.S. group, a country presumably more litigious and profligate than the UK, so that major lawsuits involve 20 percent of them? That would leave something like a ratio of one out of five with a $20 million+ lawsuit for each one out of 25 with one or more such major arbitrations. Hence, I put forward the 5-to-1 ratio of major lawsuits to major arbitrations.

A bit of corroboration appears later in the Report. The ratio of companies initiating at least one lawsuit during 2010 to those initiating at least one arbitration was 52 to 19, or about three lawsuits for each arbitration initiated.

I don’t recall seeing metrics on the distribution between lawsuits and arbitrations, and welcome comments.

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