Corporate Law Department Hiring is Up and Expense Cuts Continue to Decline,
According to New ALM Survey
ALM's 2013 Law Department Metrics Benchmarking Survey Also Shows Trend Toward
Use of Alternative Fee Arrangements Continues at Modest Pace
NEW YORK, Sept. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In another sign that America's
largest companies are showing more optimism about future revenues, a new
survey from ALM Legal Intelligence found that corporate law departments are
hiring new lawyers at a rate not seen since prior to the 2008-2009 recession.
ALM's Law Department Metrics Benchmarking Survey (2013 Edition) -- which
analyzed data from 70 in-house law departments at U.S. companies with median
global revenues of $3.3 billion -- found that 59 percent of respondents hired
new lawyers in the past year, up from 51 percent in last year's survey, and
just 44 percent and 39 percent in the prior two years.
Moreover, the survey found that just 21 percent of respondents are planning on
budget cuts in the coming year, down from 24 percent in 2012, and 28 percent
and 33 percent in 2011 and 2010 respectively.
"This survey benchmarks continued positive momentum for corporate law
departments, particularly the encouraging signs that cuts in staffing and
expenses have reversed trend lines and we're now seeing cautious budget
increases," said Kevin Iredell, vice president of ALM Legal Intelligence.
Another key finding of this year's survey is that the percentage of corporate
law departments using alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) to compensate their
outside law firms continues to grow at a very modest rate. In the past year,
82 percent of American companies used some form of AFAs with their outside
counsel, up from 79 percent and 72 percent in the two prior years. However,
the majority of law departments (58 percent) are still very limited users of
AFAs, employing them for less than 20 percent of their total outside counsel
"We often hear frothy market discussions that suggest corporate legal
departments are just dabbling with AFAs," said Kris Satkunas, director of
strategic consulting with the LexisNexis® CounselLink® team, which sponsored
the survey. "However, we continue to see a steady stream of indications
demonstrating that as in-house counsel gain experience structuring alternative
legal projects, their interest in exploring more uses of AFAs grows."
The survey was conducted by ALM Legal Intelligence and was sponsored by the
CounselLink business. CounselLink is a leading cloud-based software for
Enterprise Legal Management which includes matter management, legal spend
management, legal holds and consulting services for business process
innovation and benchmarking.Click here to download a free copy of the survey
About ALM Legal Intelligence
ALM Legal Intelligence offers detailed business information for and about the
legal industry, focused on the top U.S. and international law firms. The
division's online research Web service, www.almlegalintelligence.com, provides
subscribers with direct, on-demand access to ALM Legal Intelligence's
extensive database of surveys, rankings and lists related to law firms and the
legal industry.ALM Legal Intelligence is a division of ALM.
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American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, The National Law Journal and The New York
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CONTACT: Media Contacts:
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