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Survey: In-House Spending Continues to Rise

The 2007 Law Department Survey released last week by consulting firm Hildebrandt International appears to have garnered virtually no commentary within the blawgosphere and, save for a brief mention in The National Law Journal, little coverage by the legal press. That may be because of this year's yawn-inducing findings: Yes, spending by corporate law departments continues to grow. But the overall rate of growth is just 6 percent, hardly a number likely to induce panic among CFOs.

The primary factor driving this growth was inside spending, which rose by 8 percent, and the primary reason for the growth in inside spending was higher compensation for in-house counsel -- up an average of 10 percent for in-house lawyers at all levels. Last year's survey reported an average increase in compensation of 7.5 percent. Notably, spending on outside firms went up by a paltry 3 percent, compared with rates of 5 and 6 percent in the prior two years.

Among other findings of the survey:

  • For every $1 billion of revenue, the median company spends $4.4 million on legal costs and employs 4.2 lawyers.
  • Total legal spending per inside attorney is $1.1 million.
  • Chief legal officers earn a median of $800,000 and an average of $900,000, while in-house lawyers at all levels earn a median of $200,000 and an average of $226,000.

The survey covered 202 companies from 20 industry groups. The median company in the survey has at least $10 billion in revenues and a law department with nearly 30 lawyers. Information on purchasing the full report is available here.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on September 24, 2007 at 04:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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