Getting started with billing guidelines

Billing guidelines are rules that outside counsel must follow with regard to what they can and cannot invoice a client for. They set clear expectations on how firms and clients work together and may vary between business units, law firms and matters. Without electronic billing (e-Billing software), guidelines are practically impossible to accurately monitor. Law firms are violating these rules more often than one would expect. This is unintentional of course; it’s hard to remember multiple guidelines from various clients across many matters. With neither the in-house team nor outside counsel doing thorough checks, the reality is that firms end up billing clients for items they weren’t supposed to.


If you’re just getting started with e-Billing, now is the perfect time to review your billing guidelines with your firms (if you’re a BusyLamp customer, we’ll help you do this). If you’re not yet using e-Billing then you should consider doing so. The ability to enforce outside counsel guidelines is one of the main reasons legal departments implement spend management systems – capturing erroneous billing saves you about 5% on your external legal spend in year one, and 2.5% in subsequent years. That’s not to mention the time saved on manual invoice review.

Download the guide for ten example billing guidelines, their application and purpose, likelihood of acceptance by law firms and suggested wording for each.

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Busy Lamp

Busy Lamp

Founded by a team of lawyers and powered by many frustrated users of endless spreadsheets and clunky legacy eBilling and matter management systems, BusyLamp is the leading SaaS alternative for efficient enterprise legal management. By simplifying and improving legal operations we help legal departments save time, significantly reduce spend and overheads, and collaborate more effectively with inside and outside counsel. Today’s legal departments leverage our end-to-end solution to free their teams from manual admin tasks and drive efficiencies from pitch to completion. Become a member of the BusyLamp user family and take advantage of our sophisticated sourcing, fee tracking, matter management and eBilling features all with powerful reporting and analytics in an easy to use, quick to implement, modern solution.