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Areas of law and what portion is handled in-house by German and U.S. lawyers

A comparison of legal services provided in-house by lawyers of German companies and U.S. companies picks out several differences. According to page 88 of the General Counsel Benchmarking Report for 2009 by Otto Henning & Co., contract issues (Aligemeines Vertragsrecht) dominate German departments, with 95 percent of them handling it in-house, compared to 79 percent in the US. From the German text I was unable to determine the source of the US data.

Corporate Governance and what I think is corporate law (Gesellschaftrecht) came in at 87 percent and 79 percent in Germany compared to 78 and 77 percent in the U.S. The biggest difference showed up in employment law (Arbeitsrecht) where in Germany 72 percent is done inside and the corresponding figure is 58 percent in the U.S. This may be due to the significant presence of work councils in Germany or perhaps employment litigation in the U.S. The final comparison I will note is tax (Steuerrecht) where the percentage reached 72 in Germany but only 40 in the U.S., perhaps because US tax lawyers so often report into the Finance function.

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