Volatility in Outside Counsel Spend: Containing the Chaos
Last year was a volatile one for the legal industry, but the legal industry is no stranger to unpredictability. The outside counsel spend data analyzed in the second volume of the LegalVIEW Insight reports highlights this unpredictability, while also showing the opportunities for cost management.
Key insights from the ELM Solutions’ second LegalVIEW Insights report include:
- Despite overall legal spend volatility and the long-term trend of escalating legal costs, many CLDs held their spending flat for one, two or even three consecutive years.
- CLDs showed a 46-60 percent chance of holding legal costs flat for one year and about a 9-18 percent chance of keeping it flat for three years in a row.
- The ability of CLDs to control legal cost changes also varies widely by industry. For example, banks and other financial institutions – although their legal costs can be staggering – as an industry consistently reduced their overall legal spend every year since 2016.
- However, consumer services businesses tended to see costs increase, while manufacturing companies saw no consistent pattern, either up or down.