A French consultant, Hélène Trink, teamed with the legal search firm Equiteam to survey French legal departments. They obtained responses from 81 general counsel (Directeurs juridiques) in the fall of 2009.
Surprisingly, a bit more than half of the respondents said that their 2009 budget had increased. Asked to explain why the legal budget had gone up, they selected four principal explanations. The most commonly chosen was new litigation (nouveaux contentieux, 43% selected) followed by external crisis (operation de croissance externe, 29%) and more responsibilities assigned to the general counsel (perimeter de la Direction juridique elargi en 2009, 20%). General counsel everywhere would nod in agreement. They might have more to spend if something blows up, if plaintiffs take up arms, or if the scope of their charge increases.