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Benchmarks based on legal departments in a country have confounding data from branch offices of foreign law departments

To a fair degree, a sizeable benchmarking study can isolate law departments that have all or nearly all their lawyers in one country. Once you recognize, however, that foreign companies may also have groups of lawyers in that country it becomes murkier to produce data “on a country.”

An example of this difficulty is the report released recently by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubble, in conjunction with the Forbes Institute, based on data from legal departments in Russia. Note that the description is not “Russian legal departments,” since of the 65 respondents “more than half of these companies (57%) were global multinationals.” (See my post of April 21, 2101: subsidiaries in benchmark studies of legal departments.).

French companies with lawyers only in France may operate quite differently than – and display a pattern of benchmark metrics quite different from – British companies with some of their lawyers based in a branch of the department in France.

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