CEO paychecks are on the rise, and for the first time in history, some are even billion-dollar-a-year execs. According to GMI Ratings’ 2013 CEO Pay Survey, CEO pay in North America increased by 8.4 percent in 2012 among the more than 2,200 CEOs surveyed. Each of the top ten CEOs took home at least $100 million in 2012, and two — Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Kinder Morgan, Inc.’s Richard D. Kinder — each brought home over $1 billion dollars in 2012 alone. For legal teams, this trend could be problematic, as the SEC has proposed a new rule concerning CEO pay disclosure, making the top companies more transparent than ever before.
19.7% S&P 500 CEO realized compensation increases at the median
7.6% Russell 2000 CEO realized compensation increases at the median
$2,278,668,214 Mark Zuckerberg’s 2012 earnings, the most of any CEO
Think big-ticket litigation is just for the largest law firms? According to one recent LexisNexis CounselLink report, that trend has gone by the wayside. Over the past three years, midsize law firms, or those that have between 201 and 500 lawyers, have increased their share to 41 percent of all litigation that results in at least $1 million in legal bills. The main reason for the switch is the price of these firms, because as Don H. Liu, general counsel for Xerox Corp., told The Wall Street Journal, “the larger the firm the higher the cost.”
57% of companies surveyed had 10 or fewer firms accounting for at least 80 percent of legal fees
22% of all big-ticket litigation was done by mid-size firms in 2009, representing a large increase in the past three years
$381 The hourly average partner-billing rate for the 12 months between July 2012 and June 2013
Getting up in arms about the slate of new patent laws that could change the course of innovation? Don’t, because according to a September study from the European Commission, intellectual property is crucial to fostering business growth. The Commission found that 40 percent of all economic activity in the EU is created in IP-intensive industries, and about 35 percent of all work in the EU is related to industries that rely heavily on IP. These findings also focused heavily on the pharmaceutical industry, where manufacturing of pharmaceutical products was high on the list in both trademarks and patents.
35% of all work in the EU is related to industries that rely heavily on IP
7% of all IP exports from the EU are pharmaceuticals-related, totaling €83.4 billion
584,633 jobs are currently in the pharmaceutical industry in the EU
On the Wire
Sure, big scale financial fraud may be the topic that receives the most headlines. (Isn’t that right, Countrywide and Bank of America?) However, according to data from the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, it’s wire fraud that should have companies beginning to shake in their boots. The data shows that wire fraud has increased tenfold over the past decade alone. And it’s not just fake e-mails and hacking, as many fraudsters are even taking to dating sites and sites such as Ancestry.com to fake romantic interest or familial ties.
3,923 wire fraud cases in 2012 alone
63 more wire fraud cases in 2012 than in 2011, continuing an upward trend
$15 million fine that a group of eight hackers received for wire fraud in June 2013
Having an IT guy install virus protection on every company computer isn’t going to cut it for cybercrime protection anymore. As criminals become more sophisticated, companies need to do the same to combat cybercrime. And for most top legal units, that means more dollars dedicated to fighting it. A recent study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by HP shows that cybercrime rose 6 percent in the past year alone, or $500,000 more on average from the 56 organizations surveyed.
$8.9 million The average cost per year that the companies surveyed spend fighting cybercrime
$46 million The highest cybercrime fighting cost of any organization surveyed
Law School Blues
Maybe the demand for jobs in the legal sector isn’t as high as it was pre-economic crash, but the supply of jobs seems to be coming down to meet the demand as well. A Kaplan Test Prep Survey published on Oct. 1 reveals that law school class sizes are decreasing. 54 percent of law school admissions officers said they have decreased the size of their incoming classes for 2013-2014, and only 385,400 total students applied to law schools for that class, the lowest number in decades.
25% of law school admissions officers say they already plan to cut class sizes for 2014-2015 as well
67% don’t think the steep, three-year decline of law school applications will reverse itself in the 2013-2014 admissions cycle
78% of schools say they accepted scores from the June 2013 LSAT administration for the academic year that started in fall 2013, an increase of 10 percent over last year
71% of the law schools surveyed say they are introducing more clinical courses and practical training into their curricula to make their students more “practice ready”