FTSE 100 companies sued 16% more often over a year, Sweet & Maxwell says

U.K. lawsuits against the country's 100 biggest companies increased 16 percent in a year, suggesting an "inevitable flood" of litigation from the financial crisis hasn't peaked, a legal publisher said.

Cases against FTSE 100-listed companies in the High Court in London rose to 179 from 154 in the year ended June 30, the publisher Sweet & Maxwell said today in a statement.

Combined lawsuits against HSBC Holdings Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Barclays Plc fell 6 percent, and comprised 43 percent of the FTSE 100 cases, Sweet & Maxwell said. Financial services companies make up 18 percent of the FTSE 100, Sweet & Maxwell said.

"Banks are likely to feature frequently in hard-fought litigation by virtue of the huge volume of complex financial transactions that they are involved with," said Sweet & Maxwell, a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters Corp.

Lawsuits against FTSE 100 companies weren't the only ones to increase. Cases to shield corporate secrets more than quadrupled in London last year and trademark cases rose 20 percent, the U.K. Ministry of Justice said last month.

Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with Thomson Reuters in selling financial and legal information and trading systems.

(Published by Bloomberg – October 3, 2010)

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