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External spend per lawyer varies by matter management system: $10,000 per week processed per lawyer

A ground-breaking report, which combines data on matter management systems (MMS) with benchmark metrics, is now available from General Counsel Metrics, LLC. MMS Insights reports on 130 users of more than 15 matter management systems in Canadian and U.S. legal departments.

Typically, a large share of the spend by a company on outside counsel is captured in its MMS (if it has one). A table in Insights shows for each package the median amount spent per lawyer on external counsel and other vendors. The median stands at $496,000. The U.S. and Canadian medians from this year’s General Counsel Metrics benchmark survey are reasonably close to the medians of this group of law departments.

Broadly speaking, the finding from MMS Insights suggests that $10,000 per week for each in-house lawyer is processed by MMS software. Litigation lawyers account for the largest share of that spending, in the range of 40-50 percent.

If your IT group or your law department would like to find out more about the report or to purchase it, write its analyst and author, Rees Morrison, at

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