Using last year’s budget as a starting point for mapping out next year’s legal department spend isn’t going to cut it anymore, not during the COVID-19 pandemic. And forget about being excused from the company’s overall budget process.

“We, for decades have said, ‘It depends and we don’t know.’ We have gotten kind of away from that for a really long time and I think right now we’re learning that’s not OK anymore,” said former Microsoft Corp. assistant general counsel Lucy Bassli, founder of consulting firm InnoLegal Services.