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For very expensive matters, increase the frequency with which your firm bills you

This advice may sound corny or ineffective to some general counsel, but to others – those who face a hemorrhage of payments to a firm for a period of weeks or months – it is at least a tool to consider.

Request your primary firm on a very expensive matter to submit a bill each Monday for the work done the previous week. That speed may be difficult for the firm because some lawyers are dilatory in submitting their time sheets, but the goal is to have a sense of expenditures that is more real time than far back in time (See my posts of May 19, 2006 about real-time access to billing records; and Aug. 26, 2005 about typical delays when firms bill.).