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10-04-12

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Thursday, October 04, 2012

Corporate Legal Spend on the Rise, Survey Finds

PUBLISHED IN THE DAILY JOURNAL

Nat Slavin was quoted in an Oct. 4, 2012 Daily Journal article about how, after a big drop in legal spending during the recession, law firms have started to open their wallets again. The article cited a survey by HBR Consulting which found that legal departments increased their spending by 5 percent between 2010 and 2011, reflecting 2009 levels. The survey cited a slightly improved economy and law firm fees as factors driving the uptick.

Slavin told the newspaper that while some firms have spending on outside counsel, many corporate law departments are still choosing to keep their legal work in-house.

“We are seeing some legal departments allow for very small incremental rate increases that weren’t happening during the past couple of years and that is probably reflected in the increased spending,” he said. “Once you adjust for rate increases, the volume of legal work and amount of spend looks like it continues to be flat as legal departments continue their trend to hold work in-house. But at the same time, legal departments’ frozen budgets force them to do more with less, continue with hiring freezes and unfilled vacancies, as well as not have the ability to make short-term investments in technology and other solutions that can yield long-term savings.”

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