In Remaking News of the Week: Majority of US GCs expect a recession this week we report the just-published findings of the 2019 Altman Weil report titled, Law Departments Show Caution on Hiring and Spending in 2019.
“Seventy-six per cent of Chief Legal Officers expect there will be a recession in the US within the next two years, a belief that may be fueling caution on law department hiring and spending levelst the long-running 2019 Chief Legal Officer Survey.
“Many law departments pulled back on in-house and law firm expenditures in 2019, and fewer plan increases to lawyer staff in 2020. While the changes are moderate, there’s a contraction across all key indicators.
“Upcoming Recession. 76% of Chief Legal Officers expect there will be a recession in the US within the next 24 months.
“Outside counsel spend. Only 27% of departments increased their spending on law firms in 2019, down sharply from 42% of departments that did so last year.
“Legal Operations Managers. The number of law departments with operations managers jumped from 39% in 2018 to 46% this year. Because adding operations professionals is the most effective means of improving law department efficiency according to CLOs, these additions are in keeping with emerging economic caution in law departments.
“Since the last recession, law departments have added operational management specialists, invested in new technology, restructured in-house resources, and have become more sophisticated consumers of legal services,” says Wilber. “We believe Chief Legal Officers and their teams will be well equipped for a downturn if or when it comes.”
The full survey is available to download at www.altmanweil.com/CLO2019.
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