Institute for Legal Reform

The mission of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) is to champion a fair legal system that promotes economic growth and opportunity.

An effective legal system is critical to advancing free enterprise. Unfortunately, many lawsuits in this country lack merit or are downright abusive. Making matters worse, the lawyers who bring these types of suits tend to be the real beneficiaries—not their clients. To be sure, economic data show that the U.S. tort system in 2016 alone cost $3,329 per U.S. household, and only 57 cents on the dollar went to compensate the actual victim.

The Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) is the most influential legal reform organization in the country.  ILR effectively executes unmatched advocacy initiatives that reach into state, federal, and international arenas and cover a wide breadth of issues, including the following: 

  • Repairing our broken class action lawsuit system, such as the recent massive spike in securities class action litigation.
  • Curbing the rising trend of over-enforcement from state and federal actors that engage in irrational, duplicative, and politically motivated enforcement actions.
  • Enacting meaningful legal reforms at the state level, particularly in problematic jurisdictions like Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, and West Virginia.
  • Working within the EU to contain and improve major pending legislation that would expand U.S.-style class actions to Europe.
  • Eliminating the fraud that permeates asbestos litigation.
  • Modernizing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to reflect rapid changes in technology and prevent trial lawyers from using this broad language to file frivolous lawsuits.
  • Fighting against the expansion of the multibillion Third Party Litigation Funding (TPLF) industry here in the U.S. and globally.
  • Spotlighting the problems when municipalities team up with private attorneys to bring mass and class action lawsuits.
  • Raising public awareness of the impact of lawsuit abuse on businesses through ILR’s Faces of Lawsuit Abuse campaign.

Recent Activity

Above the FoldJun 15, 2020 - 10:30am
Coffee Shop Reopening Covid-19

Small Business Owners Speak Out Over Liability Concerns Amid COVID-19 

As businesses reopen, small business owners are becoming increasingly concerned with potential liability challenges amid COVID-19.

Letters to CongressMay 27, 2020 - 9:30am

Coalition Letter on Liability Relief Legislation In Response to the Pandemic

This Coalition letter was sent to Congress advocating for temporary liability relief legislation relating to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the NewsApr 07, 2020 - 2:45pm

Fighting the onslaught of COVID-19 lawsuits

On Friday, USA Today published an important story about how potentially massive amounts of COVID-19 litigation by plaintiffs’ lawyers could threaten our economic stability and recovery. My colleague Harold Kim, president of the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform, and I offered key insights about the forthcoming litigation wave. The Litigation Center team and our partners will be blogging frequently about COVID-19 legal and litigation trends. We look forward to hearing from each of you about what we can do to help.

Press ReleaseJan 09, 2020 - 10:00am

Donohue: 'Engaging with the world is our best strategy for strong national security and lasting prosperity'

Today U.S. Chamber CEO Thomas J. Donohue cautioned that the United States must continue to engage on the world stage or risk being left behind in his annual State of American Business Address.

Above the FoldDec 18, 2019 - 4:15pm
Lawsuits 2019

The Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2019

Every year, thousands of frivolous lawsuits are filed across the U.S., but only ten make ILR’s annual list.

Letters to CongressDec 16, 2019 - 1:15pm

U.S. Chamber Letter to the Senate on S. 1790, the "National Defense Authorization Act of 2020"

This Hill letter was sent to the United States Senate supporting S. 1790, the "National Defense Authorization Act of 2020."

Press ReleaseDec 12, 2019 - 9:30am

Harold H. Kim Appointed President of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform; Lisa A. Rickard Transitions to New Role in the Chamber

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today announced that Harold H. Kim, chief operating officer of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), will become president of the Chamber affiliate effective January 1, 2020. Lisa A.

Letters to CongressDec 10, 2019 - 4:00pm

U.S. Chamber Letter to the House on S. 1790, the "National Defense Authorization Act of 2020"

This Hill letter was sent to the U.S. House of Representatives, supporting S. 1790, the "National Defense Authorization Act of 2020."

Litigation UpdateNov 26, 2019 - 6:30am

‘The Conservative Case for Class Actions’ Doesn’t Pass the Smell Test

When a fellow former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia claims that our client, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, betrays conservative legal ideals through its unyielding opposition to abuse of class-action suits by the plaintiffs’ bar, we take it seriously. But the argument that Professor Brian Fitzpatrick raised in his November 13 National Review piece does not stand up to scrutiny. Professor Fitzpatrick, relying principally upon the U.S. Chamber’s brief in the landmark 2011 Supreme Court case AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, attempts to ascribe to the Chamber a position he invented: Opposed to class actions in all cases, and instead pining for more federal enforcement against business. No self-respecting legal conservative, he argues, would favor law enforcement by the executive branch in lieu of private-sector lawyers, motivated by profit in the form of contingency fees (lots and lots of contingency fees). Well, our former boss Justice Scalia did, for good conservative reasons: history, tradition, and political accountability. As Justice Scalia wrote in Wal-Mart Inc. v. Dukes, class actions are an exception to the long-standing rule, dating to English common law and the Founding era, that litigation is conducted on behalf of the individual named parties. Today’s class-action colossus is a creation largely of the mid-1960s — hardly the heyday of conservative legal reform.

Letters to CongressNov 12, 2019 - 11:15am

U.S. Chamber Letter on an Amendment to S. 2789, the "Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act of 2019"

This Hill letter was sent to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, opposing an amendment to S. 2789, the "Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act of 2019."