The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of the number of lawsuits on firm performance and in-house legal department size. More importantly, this paper also aims to explore the interaction effect of in-house legal department size on the aforementioned lawsuit-performance relationship.
The empirical analyses are performed by using secondary data. Structural equation modeling is employed in order to examine multiple structural relationships between the number of lawsuits, size of in-house legal department, and firm performance.
Three key findings were generated: number of lawsuits has a significant detrimental effect on firm performance; number of lawsuits is positively associated with size of in-house legal departments; and size of in-house legal departments negatively moderates the relationship between number of lawsuits and firm performance.
The results corroborate the harmfulness of lawsuits. On the one hand, a large number of lawsuits damage the firm’s financial performance directly; on the other hand, more lawsuits lead to enlarged in-house legal departments which further aggravate the negative effects of lawsuits on firm performance. These results suggest that firms should spend more effort in properly managing legal departments.
This paper contributes to the literature by empirically examining the economic impacts of lawsuits on firm performance. Moreover, it also explored the notion that having a large size of in-house legal department does not mitigate, but aggravates the harmfulness of lawsuits on firm performance.
Alvarado-Vargas, M. and Zou, Q. (2018), "Getting rid of a heavy shield: downsizing the in-house legal department?", American Journal of Business, Vol. 33 No. 1/2, pp. 2-17. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJB-08-2017-0022Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited