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Proposition: plurality of matters are handled by no more than one partner and one associate (possibly a paralegal)

Everyone spends most of their time discussing expensive, large-scale matters staffed with platoons of lawyers, with the apotheosis being the “bet-the-company” lawsuit. Rare events, those, and thank goodness (See my post of Feb. 28, 2006 chastising the over-use of that term.).

It occurred to me at a recent Ark conference that we do not have data on the percentage of matters handled by outside counsel where 75 percent or more of the time is logged by a single partner together with a single associate or paralegal. My hypothesis is that more matters are thus thinly staffed than we realize, possibly more than half of all matters. One riot, one range applies more often than we may think. But I have no numbers to back up my guess.

Is this a defensible hypothesis? Has any reader seen any data to refute or support it?