In-housers blast external counsel’s budgeting skills

Lawyers are supposed to be getting better with numbers – right? Not so, according to exclusive research of senior in-house lawyers conducted as part of The Lawyer’s Global Litigation Top 50 survey, which found lawyers are regularly underestimating litigation costs by as much as 100 per cent.

Here’s the findings: 14 per cent of in-house lawyer respondents said that in the last 12 months the widest divergence between forecast budget and final bill was between 80 and 100 per cent, while 20 per cent said final bills were 40 to 60 per cent above estimates. Slapped wrists all round.

But more than a red hand could be in the offing for private practitioners if this blundering continues. Lawyers who are inaccurately forecasting litigation costs – which according to our researchers, is quite a chunk – are putting their corporate clients at risk of breaching England’s recently implemented civil justice rules.

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