Legal Industry Benchmarks & Best Practices

For Law Firm and Legal Department
Back and Middle Office Operations

Every other year for more than a decade, Mattern & Associates has invited more than 250 law firms and legal departments of every size and specialty in all regions of the United States to participate in an extensive cost recovery survey.

Referred to by legal industry leaders as “the most comprehensive snapshot of cost recovery trends and practices available in the legal field“, the data collected from these surveys, augmented with benchmarks gathered through Mattern’s work with hundreds of legal institution clients, allows us to assemble and publish a detailed, analytical study of legal industry in-house and outsourced staffing, operational processes, tools, and technologies.

Cost Recovery Survey Results

Full Cost Recovery Survey results are confidential and only available to survey participants. High-level results are shared with the community via speaking engagements, published articles, and conversations with our firm consultants.

The chart below is an example taken from the 2014 Cost Recovery Survey. It shows the percent of US law firms recovering print and scan support service costs from 2006 thru 2014. Notice the clear upward trend.


This next chart provides a comparison of the average percent of black and white printed materials that are billable, actually billed, collected, and the total average realization percentage from 2006 thru 2014. The chart shows that while billable percentages continue to drop, the average percent actually collected has risen resulting in the total average realization falling at a slower pace.


The Bottom Line

Cost recovery impacts your bottom line.

The chart below shows a dramatic comparison of the net effect to your bottom line when there is a decrease in costs versus an increase in your firm’s billable percentage. Increasing your firm’s billable percentage via improved cost recovery percentages and practices results in a 333% increase over a similar percentage reduction in costs.

Clearly, there is a cost recovery difference.

Legal Industry Benchmarks and best practices chart showing the impact of cost recovery on the bottom line.

Compare Yourself To Peers and the Industry

Legal Industry Benchmarks and Best Practices Icon the Mattern & Associates website

Industry knowledge combined with legal benchmarks, field observations, and our proprietary methodology, make it possible for us to objectively evaluate how well your back and middle office support services are performing relative to your peers and the rest of the industry.

We provide actionable legal best practice recommendations aimed at helping law firms and legal departments reduce expenses and recover more costs.

Legal support service benchmarks & best practices are also valuable when we negotiate contracts for outsourced legal services. We know the best rates and terms available on the market and have the leverage to be able to negotiate them on your behalf.

Visit the Insights section to find news and tips about legal business operations and cost recovery. Contact us if you’d like to speak with one of our consultants.