Surveys tell us that one of the, if not the, top concerns for general general counsel is controlling litigation costs. Meaningful control of litigation expenses is difficult, however, without a realistic budget that is reevaluated on a regular basis.
Although many clients require their outside counsel to draft budgets for matters both routine and complex, it is rare that clients use budgets for anything more than a preliminary estimate of expenses. Rarer still is the outside law firm that volunteers a budget of anticipated litigation costs without being asked.
Used properly, however, budgets are an effective tool for controlling costs, managing a complicated case, and selecting a winning strategy. Better, they provide a framework for monitoring the progress of a case.