Strategy + bus., Iss. 53, Winter 2008 at 52, has a thoughtful, metrics-based analysis of how global dispersal of a company’s research and development correlates to its improved financial performance. “Overall, our analysis suggests that companies taking a more aggressive posture in globalizing their R&D footprint enjoy stronger sustained financial performance.” The benefits from locating researchers around the globe include lower costs, access to better talent, as well as market proximity and insight.
Quite possibly and similarly, globally dispersed law departments also produce stronger metrics of legal performance. Local lawyers are closer to customers and clients, they know national laws better, they can lower costs with less expensive personnel, and legal managers may push themselves to lead better because of the challenges of global operations.
Extend the reasoning of the article to total legal spending. If someone could compile benchmark data from a set of law departments on how much is spent on inside and outside lawyers by country, some benchmarking analyst should be able to see whether global legal reach increases efficiency.