It’s become old news that demand for litigation services at law firms has been declining for the past several years. Several factors have been responsible for this trend. First of all, law firms used to face pressure from both more sophisticated and well-staffed corporate legal departments that were keeping more work in-house, and alternative legal service providers who were taking away the day-to-day legal tasks that were more easily commoditized and automated. Secondly, clients tend to avoid litigation at all cost given the overall economic situation.
Nevertheless, as of 1 May 2018, we decided to launch a full-service dispute resolution practice in Poland because the situation is changing rapidly, especially in terms of the so-called bet-the-farm litigation which means any litigation that threatens the existence of the company. More and more clients are coming to us with such cases which are of paramount importance to an organization. The truth is that clients will continue to need litigation services. The first few months of 2018 confirm that thinking. Moreover, much more litigation work has been going to smaller firms that are litigation specialists like us. Clients do not need big law firms to handle their cases at the average level. They need a team of specialists which have necessary experience and know how to win cases. The latest statistics show that bet-the-farm litigation is increasing in Poland. Indeed, such work actually doubled last year in Poland and continues to show strong potential. Those firms that can best convey to clients their specialty in handling this type of litigation — by accurately outlining to clients the costs, time and likely outcomes involved in such matters — have the best chance to secure the high-end mandates.
What exactly is bet-the-farm litigation? Bet-the-farm litigation is any litigation that threatens the existence of the company. Either it could be a crucial aspect of the business which is going to be cut off or the judgement could be so large that would put the company out of business. There are many examples of such cases. It could be the minority shareholders litigation because the result of the minority shareholders litigation could be that the company is sold or pieces of the company are sold to satisfy the demands of the minority shareholders. Or it could be trade secret litigation — if the company is threatened with an employee who has left and has taken a valuable trade secret with him.
Woźniak Legal handles many high-rate, bet-the-farm type of litigation matters. Our philosophy is to put our clients in the absolutely best position possible to achieve the results they want.
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October 15, 2018
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