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.

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