3 Tips For Getting The Best Budget From Your Outside Counsel

Here are a few helpful tips for getting more realistic numbers out of your outside counsel:

Use a Detailed Budget Format and Compare Apples to Apples. 

Pick a detailed task-based budgeting format that leaves no room for “BS” and ask all your counsel and prospective counsel to follow it. This may mean your initial budget proposals will cause “sticker shock”; however, they will also be more accurate.

Identify and Quantify Cost-Driving Variables.

It is true that you can’t predict what will happen in litigation. But when the anticipated scope changes, it generally means there are more of a certain task than the budget assumed: more depositions, more gigabytes, more motions, etc. If your lawyers clearly identify their assumptions about these variables and quantify the average cost-per-task, you will be able to predict how changing circumstances will affect the bottom line (e.g., 10 unexpected deposition notices = $100k; 20 extra gigabytes of documents = $300k).

Insist on Frequent Updates. 

Changed circumstances should not lead to blank checks. Your lawyers should be updating their budgets when the schedule gets set, the rulings come in, the discovery gets served, etc. — that’s the best way to know if they are maintaining efficiency and keeping average costs-per-task down no matter what happens. To make this happen, schedule a cost-management call with your relationship partner every few weeks and get an updated budget before each call.

BigHand Matter Pricing has included these considerations and more into its easy-to-use litigation budgeting tool. Our detailed reports, average costs-per-task, and easily updated framework are the perfect solution for clients who are tired of hearing “but it’s litigation...“

About BigHand Matter Pricing

BigHand Matter Pricing is a next-generation legal matter pricing, budgeting and cost management solution. Turning data into actionable insight and transparency that empowers your teams to make objective pricing decisions, armed with accurate real-time business understanding. Gain a data-driven understanding of matter profitability drivers like leverage, effort and costs, to give your teams the autonomy they need to boost productivity.

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