Don’t guess how legal department operations are evolving—look at the data. According to the new Thomson Reuters Legal Tracker LDO Index, corporate legal departments are managing a higher volume than ever before, focusing on cost control, and bringing in more legal operations staff to run leaner and smarter. Insights from the new semi-annual LDO Index were sourced from an analysis of anonymized matter data from 1,000+ corporate legal departments with over $71B in total legal spend.

The first edition of the Legal Tracker LDO Index was announced today  and released at this week’s VANTAGE Orlando event, where over 900 customers have gathered for the annual Legal Tracker and Elite users’ conference. Legal departments and law firms alike are looking for deeper insights into how legal departments are changing the way they work. For this reason, the LDO Index provides answers to some of the most common questions about legal department benchmarks, trends, and strategies:

  • What methods of cost control are considered most effective?
  • How many legal departments have increased their volume of work?
  • How much has average spend per matter decreased due to cost controls?
  • What are the most highly utilized reporting metrics?
  • Etc…

The LDO Index makes it easy to see benchmarks and trends for each of these key areas, along with additional data on legal departments’ relationships with outside counsel. For example, most legal departments reported rate increases from their outside counsel, with 65% of legal departments confirming they experienced rate increases in the last 6 months. The nature of those rate increases differ based a few factors, such as firm size and industry. When viewing differences by industry, for instance, it is apparent that legal departments serving health care and construction saw the greatest average rate increases. In contrast, average rates actually decreased for companies operating in the financial services, energy, and utilities verticals. These and other insights provide a helpful view into how the landscape is changing, and how those changes may vary for different players in the market.

Check out the inaugural edition of the Thomson Reuters Legal Tracker LDO Index to learn specifically how legal departments are refining their strategies and becoming more proactive than ever. And, look for regular updates as this semiannual index is published going forward.