On May 7, 2012, Law.com’s Corporate Counsel page offered some hardish data on the cost of a leading matter management system. “The cost of the [Serengeti Tracker] system ranges from about a quarter of a percent of a company’s outside legal spend, to about one percent of that budget.” Preceding that statement was some background information about the company and its product, focused more on law firms than on law departments: “Serengeti, which launched in 2001, now has 150,000 users in more than 180 countries, and adds more than 3,000 new users a month. Close to 500 in-house departments are on board—including Amazon.com, Heinz, Alcatel-Lucent, and Capital One.” My focus is the cost statement.
For a typical U.S. company with $1 billion in revenue, its total legal spend falls between $3 and $6 million. For our purposes, take the mid-point of $4.5 million and allocate 60% of that to outside counsel. That means the cost of Seregeti Tracker for such a hypothetical law department is somewhat more than a half-percent of $2.7 million, or somewhat above $13,000. As it is difficult to find public information about the cost of this common genre of law department software, this tidbit and estimated conversion to dollars has some value.