Published on:

11 percent average savings on outside counsel from matter management system???

According to the 2006 ACC/Serengeti Managing Outside Counsel Survey, as highlighted in ACC Docket, April 2007 at 14, “average reported savings from using matter management systems was 11% of outside legal spending.” Amazing!, but true?

Questions tumble all over that factoid. What was the median figure? Of the “hundreds of ACC member law departments [that] share their experience” in the report, how many have a matter management system and of those how many reported on savings? What choices of ranges of savings did the respondents have or did they fill in a percentage? Were these net savings over the cost of licensing, installing, customizing and maintaining the system? How exactly does a matter management system lead to such stupendous savings? How did the respondents know the amount saved? Is “outside legal spending” synonymous with “spending on law firms”? Was the savings for one year or repeated year after year (See my post of May 14, 2005 on savings calculations.)?

To give some perspective, a Joe Normal law department in the US of a billion dollar company spends on the order of two million dollars a year on law firms. If that department could shave $220,000 off that amount (11% of $2 million), wouldn’t all law departments have licensed or created a system?