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LexisNexis CounselLink Releases 2019 Enterprise Legal Management Trends Report

— October 11, 2019

The report highlights data-driven insights that inform corporate law departments’ decision-making.

LexisNexis® CounselLink®, a leading cloud-based enterprise legal management solution for corporate legal departments, today announced the release of its 2019 Enterprise Legal Management Trends Report. Now in its sixth year, the Trends Report is based on more $33 billion in legal spending comprised of nearly seven million invoices and approximately 1.7 million matters. 

“CounselLink collects a wealth of data that allows law departments to gain critical insights into current legal metrics trends and benchmark their performance against other organizations,” said Kris Satkunas, Director of Strategic Consulting for CounselLink and author of the Trends Report. “These insights enable law departments to make informed business decisions that drive results.” 

Key findings in this year’s report include:

  • Use of alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) has increased over the last two years, with the percentage of matters that include a non-hourly billing component increasing from 9.2% in 2017 to 12.2%, and the percentage of dollars billed under an AFA increasing from 7.4% to 8.3%.
  • The gap between the average partner rates at the “largest 50” firms (those with 750+ lawyers) and those at the “second largest” firms (501-750 lawyers) continues to widen. Firms with more than 750 lawyers have billable rates that are 53% higher than rates at the next tier of firms (501-750 lawyers). This compares to a 45% gap reported in 2017, and a 40% gap in 2016.
  • High-rate work is dominated by the largest 50 firms. These firms were responsible for 74% of the billings generated by M&A transactions in the period, 58% of finance, loans, and investment work, 55% of corporate, general and tax work, and 52% of regulatory and compliance work. Combining these types of matters, the largest firms had a 57% share of the work in 2018 plus the first 4 months of 2019 compared to a 50% share in 2016.
  • The law firm consolidation trend has stabilized in the last few years. According to the new data, 61% of companies have 10 firms or fewer accounting for at least 80% of outside counsel fees, compared with 60% in 2018 and 62% in 2017.

CounselLink provides 100% visibility into all matters and invoices, giving legal departments the ability to control costs, maximize productivity and make better decisions. It has earned an industry reputation for enabling corporate law departments to use data effectively as a basis for improving legal department performance and outcomes. Hyperion Research has recognized the innovations CounselLink has brought to the market, awarding two “Market Leader” designations and two “Highly Innovative” distinctions.

The full CounselLink Trends report is available for download here.

CounselLink logo; image courtesy of CounselLink.
CounselLink logo; image courtesy of CounselLink.

About CounselLink®

CounselLink is a leading cloud-based software solution for Enterprise Legal Management (ELM), including work management, financial management, vendor management and legal hold solutions designed to help corporate legal departments manage operations while providing analytics and benchmarking tools for better decision-making. Expert professional services and product support teams are available to help users maximize the benefits of their investment. CounselLink also offers tiered package options to address the unique requirements of both large and small legal departments. Discover more about CounselLink online:

LexisNexis logo; image from press release.
LexisNexis logo; image from press release.

About LexisNexis Legal & Professional

LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help customers increase productivity, improve decision-making and outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 130 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

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