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Ranking in a survey of the six most common targets for saving during 2009

Data collected by the General Counsel Roundtable reveals where its members cut costs in 2009. The top six reductions, based on responses from 124 departments, were law firm expenditures (70%), travel (59%), vendors and consultants (21%), IT spend (14%), law department staff (8%), and employee compliance training (6%).

“Travel” probably means cancellations of conferences and more reliance on phone calls and videoconferencing than on flights. The reductions in “vendors and consultants” (gasp!) include deferral of software licensing and other expenditures on management initiatives. “IT spend” probably means such steps as not upgrading laptops, putting off buying Blackberries, and renegotiating maintenance contracts on equipment. The largest savings, by far, I am sure, came from the hides of law firm partners.