Huron Consulting Group Releases Annual IMPACT® Benchmarking Survey
Huron Legal Survey Shows Comprehensive Management Programs Crucial to Law Department Savings and Efficiency
“The industry has experienced profound change and the stakes are
exceptionally high for law departments. Law departments must
continuously demonstrate their value while at the same time controlling
or lowering costs,” said Joy
Saphla, managing director and Huron
Legal’s Advisory services leader. “The results of the 2013 IMPACT®
Law departments with comprehensive management programs on average realized 30% lower total legal spend and 38% lower external legal spend than those without the comprehensive programs. The common denominators of these programs included defined outside counsel panels, monthly or quarterly budget reviews, matter level budgets, alternative fee arrangements, and e-billing technology.
“It’s important for general counsel to understand their business model
in the context of the whole sector,” said
The Survey data was collected from 71 companies of various size and industry. The majority were U.S. based but more than a third had some global operations. This year’s report includes discussions of best practices related to some of the findings and features a new focus on department staffing and organizational structure. Its results are indicative of today’s trends.
- Last Year’s Legal Spend Drivers: The most commonly cited reason for increased legal spend was a litigation event (72%), followed by complexity of workload (55%) and outside counsel usage (50%). Less than a third of respondents noted outside counsel rates as a driver of legal spend.
Legal Spend Look Ahead: In the upcoming year, the majority of
respondents expect legal spend to increase (41%) or stay the same
(34%). The greatest percent of respondents predicting an increase
(65%) were those whose companies had more than
$10 billionin revenue.
- Matter Type Spend: For the first time in three years, Litigation was not the most commonly identified matter type for which spend was expected to increase. Topping the list were Ethics and Compliance (43%) and Merger, Acquisition, and Divestiture (39%).
- Shifting Priorities: Since the last survey, Ethics and Compliance increased in importance relative to other business priorities and was rated as the highest law department business priority in 2013 (2.82 on a scale of 1-3, with 3 being very important).
About Huron Legal
Huron Legal provides advisory and business services to assist law departments and law firms to enhance organizational effectiveness and reduce legal spend. Huron Legal advises on and implements strategy, organizational design and development, outside counsel management, operational efficiency, and discovery solutions, and provides services relating to the management of matters, contracts, documents, records, digital evidence and e-discovery. Huron Legal is not a law firm; it does not offer, and is not authorized to provide, legal advice or counseling in any jurisdiction. Learn more at www.huronconsultinggroup.com/legal or follow us on Twitter: @HuronLegal.
Huron Consulting Group
Jennifer Frost Hennagir, 312-880-3260