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Request a summary on large outside counsel bills of the major cost drivers

Consider asking your major firms to state at the top of sizeable bills the handful of activities that accounted for most of the bill and the total amount of each of those activities. “Reviewing documents from the Oak Plant, $11,000; researching memo on EPA pre-emption; $7,000; appearance at Oak Zoning meetings, $12,000.” The summary should also state where the matter is against its budget: “We are about 40% through the agreed-to budget.”

A piece in GC New York, Oct. 11, 2005 at 15, by Geoffrey Parnass, supports this suggestion. “In complex matters with lengthy time charges, it is helpful to have the invoice accompanied by a letter spelling out the cost of specific elements of the representation so the company can see the actual costs of the parts and link these with the benefits.