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Query this statement that FTSE 500 legal departments doubled in size in the past three years

Over the three-year span of the survey, the average size of FTSE 500 legal departments surveyed has grown from an average of 25 lawyers to 62 …” Pause, and reflect on the quoted portion about rapid growth (See my post of Dec. 5, 2006 about the end of the quote, about the proportion of work sent out.).

This quote, from Derek Bedlow in Legal Week, Nov. 23, 2006 at 22, refers to the latest Legal Week Intelligence Client Satisfaction Survey, “which questioned 297 general counsel and other senior decision-makers at FTSE 1000 and Alternative Investment Market companies about their law firm hiring policies.” Also, I presume, about law department size.

I doubt that in three years the law departments of the largest UK companies have on average more than doubled (average 25 to average 62 lawyers). The tricky phrase “legal departments surveyed” may betray a statistical artifact if it means “legal departments who responded to the survey.” If a number of large departments waded in this year (or small ones didn’t), the pool may slosh out with such a huge rise, but it is really inconceivable that same-department growth over just three years has been so robust.

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