Vikas Goyal

Vikas GoyalIn multi-jurisdictional litigation, a client faces multiple lawsuits in more than one jurisdiction (country), asserting substantially similar claims arising from a common alleged event, transaction or practice.

The trend has been growing with the ever-increasing influence of social media, mass communication and media, accessibility to internet, shrinking boundaries & distances, expansion in the global knowledge hub and high spurt in the awareness level.

On a global level, US tops the list on multi jurisdiction litigation though Europe as a region is the highest host of the multi jurisdiction litigation. MLJ1The analysis of the disputes reveals that as high as 44 % of the multi jurisdiction cases are arising out of commercial and contractual issues followed by Intellectual property

MLJ2The bigger challenges of Multijurisdictional Litigation includes (1) Finding right and experienced counsel (2) Lack of familiarity with territories involved (3) Managing Differences in legal systems (4) Coordinating local counsel across jurisdictions and (5) Board scrutiny intensifying around cross border disputes.

Effectively Managing Disputes

Multi Jurisdiction litigation demands a completely different strategy and compressive approach to factor in the geographical diversifies, reputational risk, impact on the ongoing business and uncertainty leading to liabilities and exposure and the cascading impact it may have.

1. Prevention

  • Formal review of contracts and procedures
  • Risk avoidance
  • Improved management of contracts

2. Proactive steps to ease resolution

  • Stating base jurisdiction in contracts
  • ADR clauses
  • Increased in-house resources
  • Enhanced internal expertise (center of excellence)
  • Formalized defined process
  • Ready panel of specialist external counsel
  • Preparing panel with knowledge of business

3. Improved management of disputes

  • Early settlement
  • Bringing disputes in favorable jurisdictions
  • Using ADR or arbitration
  • Stronger case management (project managers)

4. Measurement of disputes

  • Measuring volume, cost, and causes
  • Tracking impact of changes to approach

Conclusion:

Companies that are hoping to better manage or avoid cross-border disputes uniformly agree: the approach needs to be Glocalization [i.e. promoting consistency and Global Strategies and at same, RM – RS i.e. Relevant Market – Relevant Strategy] coordinated, and consistent, and it needs to be implemented as soon as possible.

About the Author: Author is a Corporate Lawyer – equipped with a Professional degree of Law and Master of Business Law from NLS, Bangalore and having enriching experience of 18 years as In-House Counsel.

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