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Hildebrandt Survey Shows Recessionary Effects on In-House Counsel

By Neetal Parekh on October 16, 2009 6:14 PM

Unless you are finishing up a two-year corporate counsel stint at a remote company in rural Antarctica, you are probably pretty well-versed in the language of the recession that has taken hold of news headlines, board-room meetings, and dinner-table conversations.  Scaling back, laying offflat-fee billing, in-house eDiscovery ---these have been the recent buzz words in legal departments across nation.

Well, now there are a few numbers to back up the in-house recessionary fodder.  Hildebrandt International has released its annual Hildebrandt Law Department Survey, which provides benchmarking data for U.S. and global law departments. 

Here are a few highlights from Hildebrandt's findings:

  • Nearly a third of the companies expect a decrease in the number of law firms they will use in the U.S. Only 8% plan to increase the number of firms engaged.
  • The average increase in base salary for the in-house attorney was 3%, down from 5% reported in the 2008 Survey.
  • Over half (56%) of the participants indicated that they are engaged in convergence activities.
  • For the first time in many years of tracking the issue, the Survey shows an increasing number of law departments adopting or expressing interest in alternative billing arrangements.
  • 42% of companies predict an increase in demand for Bankruptcy services.

The survey involved 231 companies from 21 industries including 22% of Fortune 500 companies.  No word if any of the companies surveyed are located in rural Antarctica.

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