14 August 2013

Law firms reap most of Brazil legal spend

Brazilian corporate legal departments are spending more with external counsel in sharp contrast with Europe, according to new research.

By Charlotte Mullen

Over half of Brazilian companies see legal spending on the rise both internally and externally Marc Turcan

According to the research by Laurence Simons recruiters, the average internal legal spend among respondents is US $3.76 million whilst the average external spend is US $12.1 million. This includes expenditure on law firms, vendors, expert witnesses, investigators and consultants, but not including patent and trademark fees.

Increase in legal spend

Nearly half of Brazilian companies expect both internal and external legal spend to increase whilst 69 per cent say their legal team is likely to grow in the next two years. Currently the average legal department has 11 practicing lawyers.
Brazilian corporate counsel enjoy greater interaction with the company’s management structure, with 45 per cent saying they report directly to the CEO/MD. Over 40 per cent of general counsel sit on the board. Meanwhile the majority of companies – 82 per cent – have a dedicated compliance/regulatory functions which was part of the legal department in half those surveyed. And over 56 per cent report directly to the general counsel.


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