Trivial cost-reduction steps commonly reported by legal departments in survey

Hildebrandt, a unit of Thomson Reuters, released some data on cost control strategies from its 2009 Law Department Survey. Not exactly bold steps taken by general counsel.

Reducing travel expenditures tops the list of 18 measures tracked in the survey as the most
widely implemented cost savings strategy among law departments. Some 82 percent of the companies reporting indicated that they have reduced or will reduce the travel budget for the law department. An additional 8 percent are considering this strategy. Even with the economic crisis, 10 percent have no plans to reduce their travel budget.

Or consider the second most common measure: 77 percent of the companies reporting indicated that they have reduced or will reduce their budget for meeting and training events, 7 percent are considering this measure, and only 16 percent have no plans to reduce budget for these events. Again, yawn.

Over half of the companies (51%) have implemented or will implement salary freezes for law department staff. An additional 11 percent are considering salary freezes while 38 percent have no plans to adopt this measure.

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