Surveys: Data confidentiality
Data security and participant anonymity continue to be our top priority. To demonstrate how seriously we take this issue, our security measures include:
- Survey data is used for the production of the survey and related services within the Law Firm Services group: Survey data is not used for internal PwC strategic planning purposes, nor is it ever made available elsewhere inside our firm.
- Aggregate group results may be released to select legal publications or used in a legal forum, to highlight industry trends. Individual firm results will never be shared outside of the PwC Law Firm Services Group without firm consent.
- Survey reports are available only to participating law firms.
- Participants do not have access to other firms' individual data.
- All participants must identify a survey contact within their law firm, and all survey correspondence is made only with that designated person.
- All survey data is maintained in a secure and dedicated office on a secure network.
- Access is strictly limited to the survey staff.
The surveys are reviewed annually by outside counsel to ensure compliance with current US antitrust laws regarding the sharing of price and cost information among competing business entities.
Participation in the PwC law firm surveys is voluntary and open to all law firms, regardless of size or location. All data submitted is reviewed by PwC staff for consistency with our format and instructions prior to inclusion in the survey database.
The reports comply with recommendations made by outside counsel during their annual review of the surveys relative to current antitrust issues. While we are confident that the data supporting these surveys has been properly summarized, no opinion is expressed regarding the fairness of the results.
The PwC law firm survey results are highly confidential. They are intended for the internal business management of participating law firms, and to support internal benchmarking and decision making. As such, all data contained in the reports are to be made available only to partners and designated employees of your firm, and should not be made available to any third parties.
Furthermore, PwC does not condone the use of this data by participants in a court of law or any public forum that would either make the information available to non-participants or identify or expose participating law firms to other participants or non-participants.
During the year, our law firm survey group responds to many requests made by our survey participants. The types of requests range from sending additional and customized benchmarking reports to preparing firm-specific presentations delivered to management teams of law firms. We strive to respond to your needs in a timely, informed and professional manner. Some of the feedback we have received regarding our responsiveness and the quality of our survey products is described below:
"The PwC annual statistical survey is the best tool available to help us better understand our operational issues, including staffing ratios and expense levels. The survey data has been extremely useful in establishing benchmarks for targeted financial improvement." – Director, "top 10" law firm
"The best business intelligence available to law firms." – CFO, "top 150" law firm
"The PwC billing rate & associate salary survey is the best source of comparative billing rate information available at the geographic and practice area level. And these are the levels of detail necessary to make informed decisions about our billing rates." – Director, "top 10" law firm
"We use both the annual statistical survey and billing rate survey to help us perform our own reality check. With the volatility in associate salaries we have found the billing rate survey to be very helpful, especially for branch office information." – Executive Director, "top 150" law firm
"Objective information obtained from the PwC surveys on billing rates, productivity by class of timekeepers and partner investments and earnings is invaluable in managing our business." – Financial manager, "top 50" law firm
"We use the survey information extensively in financial retreats, partner meetings and also in making billing rate decisions. I am even more impressed with the high standard of customer service we receive from the survey staff." – Financial manager, midsize law firm
"The PwC semi-annual rate survey is an important management tool that we use to ensure we are receiving market rates for our services. This survey provides firm management with objective data regarding where our firm billing rates are relative to the market. Without a survey like this it would be easy for our billing rates to fall behind the market given the natural reluctance of lawyers to increase their billing rates." – CFO, "top 150" law firm