LexisNexis: Survey Friday: Fortune 1000 GCs and Cautious Optimism

Origianlly Published in LexisNexis Business of Law Blog | August 8, 2014 | By Frank Strong

Fortune 1000 GCs and Cautious Optimism

No matter the line of business getting things done generally has three key prerequisites:  budget, people and resources.

The Consero Group recently conducted a short survey with 57 GCs that included questions along these lines and published this report:  Consero’s 2014 General Counsel Data Survey.   The study is our post for this week’s Friday Share.

While the sample size is small, and the report is akin to a valuable focus group study, this survey is worth reading for two additional reasons.

a)    Fortune 1000 GCs.  The survey participants are all employed by some of the largest corporations – and ostensibly those corporations that are among the largest law firm clients.

b)    Periodic pulse checks. Consero conducts these surveys regularly which provides interesting snapshot over time. For example, we published a post on a previous survey in January 2014: 5 Brief Data Points from a Survey of GCs.

Question #1: How has your departmental budget changed over the last 12 months?

corporate legal budgets

As the chart nearby indicates, there’s a little more optimism for legal department budgets in comparison to the previous survey. Last winter, GCs indicated that corporate legal budgets would remain flat.

Question #2: Figure 2: How has your staff size changed over the last 12 months?

consero-legal-dept-headcountThe answers to this question also reinforce room for cautious optimism.  The previous survey indicated 67% of GC expected legal department headcount to remain unchanged.

Question #3.  Figure 3: Do you have sufficient access to the resources necessary to manage your department?

corporate legal resources

This question varied a bit from the previous Consero survey so there isn’t a comparable answer. However, it’s interesting to observe the split – a difference of 8% – which on a sample of 57 works out to about 4 or 5 respondents. Therefore it seems reasonable to conclude about half are comfortable with their resources and the other half is not. On the upside, based on the previous two questions, it seems some of them will be getting additional budget and headcount to address the challenges.

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The complete report provides answers to eight additional questions and the report can be freely downloaded without registration at the link above. We like to keep abreast of legal industry surveys that published and here are some related studies also worth reviewing: