This factoid comes from an article in 8-K, Vol. 4, Fall 2008 at 30, and others have said as much (See my post of Oct. 27, 2005: Fulbright & Jaworski notes 60% settle during trial.).
Law department management issues surround from settlements (See my post of April 26, 2006: internal barriers to settlement; Dec. 3, 2005: cost cutting may spur poor settlements; May 8, 2007: Ford’s settlement policy; and Nov. 25, 2005: whether law departments should manage settlement funds.). Whether settlement funds should come from the general counsel’s purse is debated (See my post of May 30, 2006: law department budget should include settlements.). Some tools are available to help litigation managers (See my post of March 13, 2006: verdict and settlement databases; and Dec. 31, 2006: online settlement tool combined with ADR.).
Even so, metrics about settlements are much discussed (See my post of April 15, 2007: confidentiality of settlement amounts; May 30, 2005: lack of benchmark data about settlements; Sept. 22, 2006: 95% of settlements are in cash; Feb. 13, 2008: data on DuPont’s settlement amounts; July 16, 2005: settlements as a percentage of total legal spend; May 30, 2005: settlements and total legal spend; Feb. 13, 2008: settlement ratios by practice area; May 30, 2005: include settlements and judgments in total legal spending; and July 16, 2005: settlements and judgments in relation to outside counsel spending.).
Some people advocate that a general counsel, under appropriate circumstances, retain settlement counsel parallel with litigation counsel (See my post of Oct. 20, 2005: a different firm to pursue settlement; Aug. 2, 2006 #3: parallel settlement counsel; and July 21, 2006: team with resolution counsel.).
Other posts on this blog address miscellaneous aspects of settlements (See my post of Feb. 7, 2007: settlements in mediations; June 14, 2007: patent litigation settlements; July 27, 2008: neurobiology of settlement decisions; Nov. 30, 2008 #1: offers of settlement and FRCP 68; Oct. 14, 2005: impact of structured settlements; and Oct. 30, 2005 #1: structured settlements.).
For more, take a look at a blog on settlement techniques (Settlement Perspectives).