ALM Properties, Inc.
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Say On Pay (The Other Kind)
Recently The Wall Street Journal reported that companies are refusing to reimburse outside counsel for expenses they once paid without a second thought. We asked three in-house lawyers to give us examples of bills that send them up the wall. (Thanks to the Legal Marketing Association and In the House for their assistance.)
R. Peter Fontaine, founder and managing partner at NewGate & Partners
"Most research. (We are paying for expert advice, right?) Overhead (e.g., copies, time charges on research engines, telephone, postage, etc.). Client briefings and documents not requested. Inexperienced associates listening in on conference calls, even if they are working on the matter."
Sheila Murphy, associate general counsel at MetLife Inc.
"A lawyer billing a tenth of an hour for leaving a voicemail. I've never gotten a six-minute phone message in my life. That type of thing will drive me crazy."
Susan Mann, general counsel at Dealogic
"We will not pay for coffee or lunch provided by outside counsel in their offices. In addition, a pet peeve of mine is when outside counsel insist on grabbing the check at lunch or dinner and then invoice my company for it."