Many law departments insist that an internal business client review the bills of outside counsel for that client’s matters. Someone in the law department will also review the bills, but since the cost is a business cost and will likely be charged back to the client by the law department (See my post of May 31, 2006 on charge backs.), a client should have some accountability.
What makes this common-sense notion difficult in real life is that the law department may have to spend much time getting bills to the right clients and then bird-dogging them for their approvals. One solution to this administrative and logistical annoyance is to appoint one or more client gatekeepers. The gatekeeper is charged with directing the bills properly and getting back the sign-offs in time.
The obvious next question is, how do you get a good gatekeeper and keep that person and how many gatekeepers do you need for your clients? Stay tuned.