Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) recently surveyed 48 law departments (about a quarter of the respondents were general counsel) representing midmarket organizations (500 to 999 employees, 17%), larger companies (1,000 to 2,499 employees, 10%) and enterprise-class (2,500 employees or more, the remainder).
ESG was dismayed to find that in 2010 almost two out of three of those law departments did not “track e-discovery related expenses (i.e., document review fees, outside counsel fees, technology investments, etc.).” Perhaps they should be less surprised given who responded and the size of many of the companies – and thus their volume of lawsuits that justify tracking discovery expenses.
One out of three respondents was in a company with less than $1 billion of revenue, which would suggest less than four or five lawyers. Indeed, one quarter of the law departments had 1-10 total employees and a third had 11-24, which translates typically into 5 to 13 lawyers. Since it is fairly common to have one-to-two lawyers per 1,000 employees, even the largest midmarket respondents might have only a single lawyer (See my post of Dec. 2, 2010: lawyers per thousand employees.).