Budget: Estimated Costs
Develop the budget based on estimates for the individual tasks. The level of budget detail will depend
on the scope of the project; for major projects, the budget may be detailed down to the individual
time-keeper level. Budget information should be an integral part of the project plan.
Budget drivers include hours, rates, and expenses. If outside counsel are involved in the project, it
is critical to work with them to develop the project budget. It is also important to consult with any
outside vendors. As to internal costs, think of the law department team members’ time as currency:
what is the best way to spend their time, and what is the opportunity cost for other things they
could be doing? Other company personnel may have actual dollars associated with their time, e.g., IT
personnel or a trained project manager. Both the law department and outside counsel and should be
comfortable with the final budget and confident in their ability to work within the budget’s parameters.
Good project management facilitates the negotiation and development of VBFs such as flat fees and
retainers (whether or not combined with success fees or collars). Scoping a project carefully as
part of the planning stage – including who will do what, how much effort they will put into it, and
what they will deliver – and carefully developing the budget aid the negotiation process because
they help both the legal department and outside counsel clarify the cost and the value of the work.
ACC Resources: Budget
Sample Case Budget Template
How to Improve Collaborative Budgeting
How to Prepare a Litigation Plan and Budget
ACC Resources: Project Plan
Outside Counsel Management: Project Management for Successful Value-Based Relationships
ACC Resources:Value-Based Fees
ACC Guide to Value-Based Fees