Final 14 (29 total) of various expenditures irregularly (or rarely) included in legal department budgets

The first 15 items of expense I covered in my post yesterday (See my post of Sept. 6, 2011: unusual expenses sometimes in legal department budgets.). Here are the final 14.

  1. Independent investigations (See my post of May 8, 2011: frustration of responsibility for costs but no control.).

  2. Insured costs or premiums for insurance (See my post of Oct. 31, 2007: various kinds of litigation insurance.).

  3. Legacy litigation or M&A, as in litigation arising from discontinued or sold operations or separate budget accounts for major corporate transactions.

  4. Legal services paid by other units, such as tax (See my post of March 27, 2009: tax and its external spend on lawyers.).

  5. Matching charitable gift contributions (See my post of Dec. 26, 2008 #2: not included in law department budgets.).

  6. Patent annuities and trademark registrations (See my post of Sept. 9, 2008: patent and trademark filing and renewal fees.). In one company the law department pays to obtain a patent but the client pays governmental fees thereafter.

  7. Proxy printing and solicitation costs, SEC filings, stock exchange registration fees (See my post of Sept. 12, 2010: speculations on these costs.). Do law departments absorb the costs of maintaining corporate entities in good standing?

  8. Quasi-lawyers in business units, such as contract administrators (See my post of Jan. 20, 2009: lawyers supervise staff outside the legal department.).

  9. Relocation bonuses or payments (See my post of April 8, 2008: relocation costs.).

  10. Settlements and judgments, fines and awards (See my post of Dec. 3, 2005: settlements and judgments; and May 30, 2006: views on settlements and judgments.).

  11. Severance costs (See my post of Sept. 17, 2005: consulting gig as part of severance package; Dec. 20, 2005: a general counsel sues for severance payments; Jan. 27, 2006: a law department includes severance costs in its budget; Jan. 18, 2009 #2: golden parachutes common for GCs; May 4, 2009 #3: BEA termination packages; May 12, 2009: HP arrangements for those let go; and June 7, 2010: departing Schering-Plough GC got $12 million.).

  12. Software and hardware (See my post of June 27, 2006: at Cisco, 3% spent on technology.), but the corporation typically pays for enterprise-wide packages.

  13. Stock options, restricted grants and other equity awards (See my post of Jan. 27, 2006: three unusual items covered by some inside budgets.). And, for that matter, what about 401K matches and special plans for high-earning employees?

  14. Vacations not taken and cashed out (See my post of Oct. 11, 2009: some tasks and costs handled by HR and not charged to legal.).

What all this profusion of variability means is that total legal spending as a percentage of revenue inevitably understates the actual amount spent on legal activities.

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