CLOC Outside Counsel Guidelines

The purpose of the CLOC Outside Counsel Guidelines is to provide the industry a set of terms that help organizations manage their relationships with outside counsel.

This resource was created based on various samples and contributions from our CLOC Community. We encourage you to customize these guidelines to fit the needs of your organization based on your internal processes, policies, and outside counsel usage.

The sample guidelines include suggested language for:
  • Introduction
  • Billing and Invoice Submissions, including late penalties, item details, fee arrangements, prohibited fees and expenses, travel policy,
  • Budgeting, Forecasting, and Accruals
  • Staffing, including expertise, diversity, third party engagements, performance reviews, and specific matter requirements
  • Appendix with other suggestions like acceptable currencies, rate reviews, information security assessments, and more!
It may also be in your organization’s best interest to have different versions for law firms and other legal service providers if the internal onboarding or review process differs between the two. For example, organization’s may want to establish a standard for all IP firms as it relates to patent prosecution to specify deliverables and pricing by phases.

If your organization has a matter or project with a specific scope of work and fee arrangement, CLOC encourages organizations to use the Outside Counsel Guidelines along with an Addendum, Service Letter Agreement or Engagement Letter. By establishing a separate document for modified terms and specifics, it allows your organization to have a consistent process of billing review while maintaining a standard level of expectations with all retained outside counsel.

You can also incorporate your organization’s Outside Counsel Guidelines into a Request For Proposal (RFP) when you are in the bidding process for new services, to ensure all parties agree to before formalizing engagement.

How To Use This Guide Template:

This is a fully customized template that allows you to define and insert your company name and more. Simply, search and replace the following key attributes:
  • [insert company name]
  • [Date]
  • [Insert software platform name]
  • [insert calendar, fiscal] month
  • [insert number] days
  • [insert link or attachment]
  • Adjust monetary [values] where indicated, recommendations are included
  • Modify optional appendix sections, recommendations are included
  • [Insert Vendor Name] if applicable
  • Insert [Preferred Provider Names 1 and 2] if applicable
Click here to open a Microsoft Word file that you can complete and save as a PDF for your outside counsel.

For more tools and resources, refer to CLOC’s Outside Counsel Management document library accessible to CLOC members. Login is required.