Policies of law departments regarding law firms and matter budgets

If we round up the usual suspects of policies and practices law departments promulgate regarding outside counsel budgets on matters, who will be dragged in? Here are some of the [lock and] key elements:

1. When in-house counsel should request a budget from an outside law firm;

2. Examples of forms of budgets, for both litigation and non-litigation;

3. Who reviews budgets and what measures there are of compliance;

4. Guidelines on how to review the budget with the outside firm;

5. The circumstances under which the law firm should or may revise the budget; and

6. Integration of budgets and matter management or e-billing systems.

Previous posts have considered some aspects of these common standards (See my post of Nov. 6, 2005 on Domino’s policies on budgets; Nov. 6, 2005 on the effectiveness vel non of budgets; Aug. 8, 2006 on guidelines in-house for management of outside counsel. April 14, 2005 on budget revisions; Dec. 15, 2005 on implementing budgets; Nov. 7, 2005 on budgets and the references cited; Feb. 18, 2007 on willingness of firms to prepare budgets; and Feb. 20, 2007 and March 1, 2007 on hold backs and enforcement.).

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