We are party to litigation and subject to investigations relating to a number of matters as described in Note 18. The outcome of these matters may have a material effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
We regularly analyze current information including, as applicable, our defenses and we provide accruals for probable contingent losses including the estimated legal expenses to resolve the matters. We use the resources of our internal legal department as well as external lawyers for the assessment. In making the decision regarding the need for loss accrual, we consider the degree of probability of an unfavorable outcome and our ability to make a reasonable estimate of the amount of loss.
The filing of a suit or formal assertion of a claim or assessment, or the disclosure of any such suit or assertion, does not automatically indicate that accrual of a loss may be appropriate.