Benchmark surveys, subsidiaries, and some stable ratios over a nine-year period

The 2002 PricewaterhouseCoopers Law Department Spending Survey, covering data from nine years ago, yields a couple of observations.

The report states at page 4 under “Company Ownership” that 24 of the participants are a subsidiary of a publicly traded company. Confusingly, then, under “Corporate Governance” its shows 20 participants are “Subsidiary of U.S. Parent Company, 16 are “Subsidiary of Foreign Parent Company,” and one is an “Unincorporated Division.” I can’t reconcile the 24 subs and the total of 37 subs and divisions. Whatever the number, since the survey covered about 200 law department participants, at least twelve percent of them were not reporting data for their company’s entire legal department.

Second, consider the stability over time of several basic benchmarks. The group of non-bank participants reported 0.34 percent as the median total legal spending as a percent of worldwide revenue. The number of attorneys per billion dollars of worldwide revenue, at the median, was 3.6. Total inside spending per attorney (median) was $335,213 while the fully loaded inside hourly cost per attorney was $178. Data from my global benchmark survey eight years later points to almost identical results after adjustments for inflation (See my post of March 4, 2010: comparable preliminary results for total legal spend and lawyers per billion.).

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