As anyone who has had the pleasure of conducting invoice reviews knows all too well, it can be a tedious and thankless task. And, fortunately, egregious billing entries are few and far between. We are pleased that most law firms thoroughly communicate with their teams about what is and is not an acceptable expense as well as any customer-specific parameters. So while we hope you never encounter an egregiously questionable time entry, here, for your reading pleasure, are the Top Eight Egregious Time Entries that Elevate has caught in our work implementing invoice review programs for law departments and law firms alike:

Eight: $55 billed by an associate attorney for ATM access fees, laundry services, and tips.

Seven: $181 to refill snacks for a conference room.

Six: The cost of a bookcase used to store binders which the firm assembled for the client.

Five: $900 in tips for hotel housekeeping for a six-night stay.

Four: An entry for “limousine” billed by a partner for a 120-mile ride from Newark, New Jersey to East Hampton, New York (typical cost: ~$500) to his summer home, billed because he missed his preferred train due to a meeting ending later than scheduled.

Three: An entry for $2,300 for time spent attending and travelling to and from a dinner to which the client had invited the timekeeper.

Two: $10,000 billed by an associate attorney for 8 hours of “vacation”.

…and the number one most egregious time entry is…

One: Six days of “cat hotel” costs while the timekeeper was travelling.

Without a process and methodology to standardise the review and management of work billed by outside counsel, a law department may face budget creep, out-of-scope work, and time-consuming follow-up due to vague or noncompliant time entries.

If you’ve had to contend with such sorts of challenges or encountered…interesting (ahem) billing entries from your outside counsel, Elevate can help. Our programs deliver proven ROI through offloading bill review work from in-house counsel and eliminating noncompliance with outside counsel billing guidelines. Email us at info@elevateservices.com about sending us a set of invoices and – at no charge – we will prepare a customised insight report for you to understand whether an invoice review program is right for you. For more information, check out our Managed Invoice Review Solution Brief.

And if you have a favourite example of an egregious billing entry, send it along to info@elevateservices.com for inclusion in our next edition of “Most Egregious Billing Entries”!