Rule of thumb: one specialist lawyer for every two business-unit lawyers

What is a typical ratio, in law departments of more than 10 or 15 lawyers, between the legal specialists (aka functions) like those handling litigation, HR, bankruptcy, environmental issues, securities, and IP, and the legal generalists who support a business unit or geographic region?

At the BBC, according to LegalWeek, Feb. 2, 2006, the “core legal team” handles corporate and IP, programming, regulatory work, and litigation and brand enforcement. Another 70 lawyers support commercial subsidiaries such as BBC Worldwide. The BBC’s ratio appears to be 50 to 70, or one specialist for every 1.4 business lawyers.

It roughly supports my view that a good ratio is close to one specialist for every two business generalists.

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