Unethical attacks on global companies through the use of the international legal system is a growing problem, according to a study just released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).

Attorneys with foreign plaintiffs are increasingly using aggressive, out of court, tactics that stretch and often break ethical boundaries in an attempt to gain litigation advantages in their pursuit of international corporations, according to the study

In a statement released with the study, Lisa A. Rickard, President of ILR, said:

“International attorneys and their allies are playing off the same trial lawyer playbook, which is designed to hold the reputation of American companies hostage in order to gain the litigation upper hand. U.S. businesses need to beware that even small investments abroad could subject them to multi-million dollar lawsuits leveraged by sophisticated public relations campaigns orchestrated by plaintiffs’ attorneys.”

The study includes details of Public Relation strategies that are launched against international companies, such as the creation of biased websites, documentaries, and internet postings. It also disclosed incidents in which the courts ruled that plaintiffs had faked injuries and provided false evidence and testimony.

The ILR hopes that by exposing the strategies used by opportunistic attorneys, they will help global companies fight unethical practices and lawsuits.