When do general counsel most want to have benchmark data?

My supposition, before I began General Counsel Metrics and its global benchmark survey, was that most general counsel would want comparative metrics on staffing and spending in the months just before their budget was due. I thought of that as August and September, mostly. In fact, I have come to learn, participation was highest in the spring.

One reason for the lack of seasonality is that corporate fiscal years are not all calendar nor are budgeting cycles so synchronized. The impetus to find benchmark metrics might be a question from the Board of Directors. It might be the invasion of consultants group hired to slash G&A overhead or perhaps the trigger is an objective a general counsel agreed to with the CEO. Sometimes general counsel want benchmarks to support a management or structure change. A few like to set a context at an all-lawyer’s conference or a planning session. For all these reasons, benchmark metrics are in fashion all year long.

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