False! In-house attorneys spent approximately 20 hours per week dedicated to the defense of class actions. This is a decrease of approximately two hours per week from 2017, but remains high considering companies reported that their in-house lawyers spent only 13 hours per week on class action matters just two years ago.
However, the decrease in hours is offset by an increase of in-house staffing for class actions — the first increase in headcount in five years.
The percentage of companies facing class actions that they consider complex, high-risk, or bet-the-company increased in 2018, according to the 2019 Carlton Fields Class Action Survey. In line with the increased risk, companies are expanding internal staffing dedicated to the defense of class actions. On average, four to five in-house attorneys per company are fully or partially dedicated to class actions, an increase from three lawyers in 2017, and the first increase of in-house class action attorney headcount in four years. As a result, the number of hours that each in-house attorney spent managing class actions declined slightly.