Survey methodology and demographics
This Directors & Boards survey was conducted in May 2011 via the web, with an email invitation to participate. The invitation was emailed to the recipients of Directors & Boards monthly e-Briefing. A total of 324 usable surveys were completed.
The survey was conducted with the financial support and sponsorship of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, though all survey questions and responses were designed and analyzed solely by Directors & Boards.
About the respondents (Multiple responses allowed) A director of a non-profit 47% entity A director of a privately 45% held company A director of a publicly 33% held company A senior level executive (CEO, CFO, CxO) of a privately held 24% company Attorney 21% Other shareholder 21% Auditor, consultant, board 19% advisor Other 15% A senior level executive (CEO, CFO, CxO) of a publicly held 9% company Academic 7% An investor relations 6% professional/officer Institutional shareholder 2% Revenues (For the primary company of the respondent) Average revenues: $2 billion Less than $250 million 53% [$251 million-$500 12% million [$501 million to $999 9% million [$1 billion to $10 16% billion [More than $10 billion 10% Board service (Average number of boards respondents serve) Public 1 Private 2 Charitable 2 Board size (Average size of respondents' primary board) 10 Total Board Members Respondents' age Average age: 57 30-39 years old 3% 40-49 years old 16% 50-59 years old 39% 60-69 years old 34% 70 years or older 8% A FEW KEY ISSUES continue to emerge in our annual survey of directors, which asks for opinions on legal services and on law firms. The most critical remains the high cost of legal services, which was mentioned by a majority of respondents in answer to the question of what law firms could change.
Legal costs were tied to a feeling on the part of directors that they weren't getting enough access to their law firms' senior counsel, and that their law firms weren't proactive enough in providing insight and guidance on emerging liability issues. "I'd change the practice of having junior counsel do most of the work," wrote one director.
Added another: "Many companies I've been associated with seem to choose 'name' AmLaw 100 firms, irrespective of any specialist legal counsel. Their return on investment would better be served if more homework were done with middle-tier, niche firms that provide specialized expert services at flexible billing rates and provide more...