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World’s most advanced study of legal department staff and spending benchmarks

The General Counsel Metrics study, exceeding 600 legal departments around the world, has elevated fundamental management metrics to a new level. Far more global than Hildebrandt’s, more balanced by company size than Empsight’s, with much broader coverage than ALM’s, and not only larger than all three, the rapidly improving offering – available at no cost whatsoever – has garnered much attention on this blog. Small wonder, since this blogger guides it (See my post of March 8, 2010: five innovations; and July 25, 2010: twelve benefits of participation.).

A flow of posts have announce the maturation of the metrics survey (See my post of Feb. 4, 2010: first invitation to readers to take part; Feb. 15, 2010: 93 participants; March 4, 2010: more than 300 respondents; April 2, 2010: more than 430 departments; April 13, 2010: geographic dispersion of 330 departments; May 26, 2010: first .gif notice on this blog; April 26, 2010: Martindale-Hubble Connected webinar on first release of data; May 7, 2010: podcast of webinar; May 20, 2010: first release covered 455 departments in 35 countries; and July 6, 2010: second release with 500+ and 15,000 lawyers.).

Another tributary describes the participants (See my post of May 26, 2010: almost two-thirds of respondents are general counsel; May 31, 2010: why some participants request anonymity; June 11, 2010: anonymity requested to avoid having to ask permission; June 13, 2010: seven regions but unbalanced representation; July 22, 2010: 44 Global 500 as well as 126 participants with less than $180 million in revenue; June 2, 2010: participants in multiple benchmark studies; and June 23, 2010: network externalities and value of additional participants.).

The most useful current is the explanation of findings (See my post of May 31, 2010: comparisons of total legal spend among French, German, Italian, and UK participants; April 23, 2010: spending per lawyer per day; June 16, 2010: correlations between inside and outside spending; July 1, 2010: median cost per lawyer; July 7, 2010: huge differences between US and European legal departments in total spending; July 8, 2010 #2: compensation data of Laurence Simons; Aug. 19, 2010: data from the whole department compared to data from a portion of a department.).

Methodology deservedly has seen a splash or two of observations (See my post of Feb. 19, 2010: representativeness of participants based on 225; April 16, 2010: treatment of European patent agents; June 8, 2010: example of graphic showing quartiles and other metrics; April 30, 2010: three points; April 30, 2010: two group mean comparison test; June 13, 2010: stem and leaf graphic; June 23, 2010: methodology of benchmarking; July 1, 2010: standardized scores; July 28, 2010: currency valuation; and Aug. 16, 2010: test for representativeness.).

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