Walmart Inc. sells billions of pounds of bananas every year. In one month, however, the legal department will spend more than what the company sells in bananas, Alan Bryan, senior associate general counsel, told a crowd of attorneys on Tuesday at the 15th annual Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Symposium in Philadelphia. That major cost, he said, prompted the need for the legal department to develop a legal operations function and control spending.

“In a month of legal spend we will more than eclipse our year of banana sales,” Bryan quipped. “That gives you an idea of why you have to become more efficient and why legal departments have been.”