Of the 455 legal departments in the first release of the General Counsel Metrics LLC study, 41 are based in France, Germany, Italy, or the United Kingdom. The total internal plus external legal expenses reported by those companies divided by their reported revenue equals 0.49 percent. If we arrange each company’s calculation of total legal spending as a percentage of revenue and sort them from high to low, the middle metric, the median, is much less, at 0.30 percent. Clearly, some large companies have much higher ratios than the overall mix.
Of the four countries, the lowest medians are for Germany and Italy and they are quite close to each other. On the other end of the scale, the median figures for the French and UK participants are also quite close to each other but are more than twice as high as the figures for Germany and Italy. More on this topic appears in the most recent issue of the European GC. Click here to read.
Until the study accumulates more law departments from those countries – and other countries for additional comparisons – we can’t draw definitive conclusions about why legal costs differ so markedly among the four countries. With the data refined, we can start to dig into what might account for the differences.