A survey of 260 companies conducted by HBR Consulting revealed that legal spend increased in 2010 and 2011 from the previous survey that covered 2009 and 2010. The data includes both money spent on in-house legal departments and on outside counsel.

The companies, 70 percent of which have Fortune 500-level revenues or above, increased their international legal spend by a median of 5 percent, while spending in the U.S. grew slightly less, by 4 percent.

The uptick in spending can be traced to two main causes: an increase in hiring within legal departments, and higher billing rates for outside counsel. More than 50 percent of the surveyed companies said they had added more staff lawyers between 2010 and 2011, and the average hourly rate for the three most expensive U.S. law firms increased by $45 in the same period.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.


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