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Conjectures on why procurement professionals seem uninterested in law department spending benchmarks

With more than 700 participants in the General Counsel Metrics global benchmark survey of law departments, it’s bizarre that only five of them are from procurement or sourcing departments (See my post of May 26, 2010: notes early lack of procurement participation.). I had thought early on that many more procurement professionals would want to be able to compare the spending of their legal department to medians and quartiles of other companies in the same industry.

It isn’t as if I have not tried to attract procurement managers. Posts on a much-visited blog (Spend Matters), comments on two large LinkedIn groups, and emails to hundreds of procurement executives have yielded miniscule interest.

Maybe those who oversee corporate purchasing do not have access to data about legal spending. But that should motivate them even more to try to obtain or estimate it and learn the 25 benchmarks that are in the report. Perhaps they are deterred by the consequences of an angry general counsel accusing them of skullduggery and improper behavior? But then the general counsel should submit the requisite data and share the results. It may be that the law department’s expenditures have always been a tough nut to crack, so why bother. Or perhaps the company’s culture rejects metrics for management. More’s the pity.

If you care about legal spending by your company, join more than 700 other law departments. Click here to take part in the GCM benchmark study and get your no-cost report, all 65 pages, in November.

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