During a recent web conference hosted by Foley & Lardner, Litigation Counsel of Cummins, Miguel Rivera, shared his experiences with budgeting. Cummins has selected regional counsel, one counsel for each of 12 regions, and their relationship partners sit each quarter with Rivera and the Cummins lawyer responsible for the firm’s cases. The firm breaks the budget for each case it is handling into phases.
Quarterly revisions together with face-to-face meetings keep the budget period to a reasonably predictable and manageable length. Law departments shouldn’t expect semi-annual budgets, let alone annual budgets, to shed much light on reality. Keep budgets to the foreseeable, near-term future – quarterly makes good sense – and you will stay on the road to cost-control success