A decline over five years in the proportion of legal work sent to outside counsel?

“59 per cent of respondents [to the survey referenced below] indicated that the percentage of legal work outsourced to an external law firm has decreased in the past five years.” This quote comes from The In-House Perspective, April 2011 at 13, which cites Deloitte & Touche’s “Forensic Corporate Counsel Survey 2010: do today’s corporate counsel hold all the cards?” I have not been able to obtain a copy of the report.

Are we to read this squib that for almost two out of three legal departments over the past half decade, of the total legal work needed by their companies, the proportion handled by outside counsel dropped? How did respondents estimate the figure let alone measure it? If true, this shift would justify significant staff increases in law departments and a consequent rise in lawyers per billion of revenue. Neither has happened.

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