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Large companies typically saw outside counsel spend last year increase 15.7 percent?

Thus proclaims BTI Consulting Group (Law Practice, Vol. 31, Oct./Nov. 2005 at 11). According to that research firm, a perfect storm of pricing pressures accounts for this: regulatory changes, heightened risks, increased litigiousness and “marked decreases in in-house legal staff.”

The Hildebrandt 2005 U.S. Law Department Survey, which includes mostly large companies, reports that outside counsel spending increased by 5 percent between its 2004 and 2005 surveys. Altman Weil’s 2005 survey of law departments reported that outside expenditures actually fell one percent from its corresponding 2004 figure (Legal Week, Vol. 7, Oct. 13, 2005 at 84).

These are dramatic differences in reported spending, and I suspect BTI has overstated the amount of the increase.

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