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Eight ways to improve your revenue-per-lawyer benchmark metric

Recent benchmark surveys by Laurence Simons,legal recruiters,and Rees Morrison report on 123 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) legal departments and 57 Asia-Pacific (APAC) legal departments, respectively. Email me if you would like a free copy and specify which one.

The median revenue per APAC lawyer was $250 million; the corresponding figure for EMEA was $204 million (€157,142,857 at 1.3 dollars to the Euro). Based on medians, the EMEA legal departments supported less revenue in their region than did their Asian counterparts. Averages told a different story. The APAC average was $274 million whereas the EMEA average was much higher at $317 million (€244,358,702). The difference between median and average figures says that some EMEA-based companies were much larger than the largest group of Asian companies supported much more revenue.

One part of the benchmark reports suggests eight ways that a general counsel might increase revenue per lawyer:

  1. Use outside counsel more often, if it results in fewer in-house lawyers
  2. Hire more support staff and reduce the number of lawyers
  3. Increase efficiency of in-house lawyers by the use of software, knowledge bases, training, work focus and teamwork
  4. Set up self-service capabilities for clients and reduce the number of lawyers
  5. Avoid quasi-legal tasks so you need less staff
  6. Invest in standardization of work product to increase productivity
  7. Hire fewer but higher quality lawyers
  8. Set and enforce expectations of greater output per lawyer.
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