The balance between making legal services and buying them changes outside the home country

Law departments of US companies can handle internally much of their client’s legal needs, the exceptions being litigation and some relatively infrequent specialty advice. International legal questions make up a small portion of the work (See my post of April 30, 2011: globalization overstated.). By contrast, with a company based in a smaller country, such as Greece or Portugal, that has grown to trade substantially outside its home market, you would assume a higher proportion of its legal issues would concern foreign laws. The balance depends on the proportion of the company’s revenue that comes domestically or internationally.

But this split is surmise. The General Counsel Metrics global benchmark survey does not ask law departments to break their headcount into domestic and international. Some companies with global cultures might not even see the relevance of that geographic distinction. Were data available it would allow the start of a more definitive response to the surmise.

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