In a group of 23 law departments in companies with more than $20 billion in revenue, the average percentage of lawyers at the largest site was 63 percent. This finding, from the Hildebrandt Law Department Survey, surprises me because these are huge companies, with multi-national operations that all need legal support. To have on average two-thirds of all the lawyers in these companies based at a single location seems high (See my posts of Sept. 21, 2005 on arbitraging local compensation levels, Oct. 10, 2005 on ex pat packages, and Oct. 10, 2005 on purchase power parity.)
With the pressures to be close to the business, the globe-straddling reach of most large companies and their lawyers, and much frowning over “headquarters” and “corporate overhead” costs, I would have thought the lawyers would be more dispersed. If the executives of these companies are similarly concentrated geographically, then the clustering of lawyers has a rationale.