Double litigation budgets at DuPont Legal: one for company financials, one for departmental strategy

DuPont Legal’s operational budget is what it submits as one of the company’s functional units. Based on it, the legal team distributes its in-house costs as well as its outside counsel costs, spend on patents and trademarks, and regional costs. The operational budget forecasts spend for the coming year and includes even very small items if they can be foreseen.

Its other budget is the strategic budget, “which is regularly revisited and not projected more than six months at a time.” This budget focuses on individual matters on which DuPont is likely to spend at least $1 million annually.

From the article in Met. Corp. Counsel, Feb. 2010 at 6, that describes these twin budgets, it seems that the operational budget satisfies the company’s need for financial planning and chargeback of legal costs. The strategic budget serves as a tool for legal management to keep an eye on the most expensive matters, the ones that have fundamental consequences to the company and its bottom line.

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