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Outside Counsel Deskbook
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Chapters

  1. Representing the FDIC
  2. Conflicts of Interest
  3. Legal Services Agreement
  4. Legal Referral
  5. Case Management
  6. Case Plan and Budget
  7. Invoice Package
  8. Legal Matter Closeout
  9. Post-Representation
      Responsibilities
 10. Foreign Laws Firms

Appendices

  1. Contacts
  2. Statutory Compliance
  3. Electronic Billing / Timekeeping
     
  4. Legal Services -
    Delegations of Authority
  1. Litigation & Resolutions Branch
  2. Corporate Operations Branch
  3. Supervision Branch
  4. Consumer & Legislation Branch

Case Plan & Budget

6.1 Budget Package
When you begin work on a legal matter, you must prepare a plan (the “Case Plan”) explaining how you anticipate accomplishing the work for which you have been retained, along with a case/matter budget (the “Budget”) showing the anticipated cost of legal representation.

The Case Plan and Budget constitute the “Budget Package” and must be submitted together. The Case Plan summarizes the strategy for achieving satisfactory resolution of a matter, while the information provided in the Budget controls costs and the payment of invoices. Except in a case of extreme urgency, the FDIC must approve the Budget before you begin working on the legal matter.

NOTEThe Budget must be approved by the FDIC before you can be paid for a legal matter.

The FDIC uses on an on-going basis the cost estimates and other information provided in your Budget to assess cost-effectiveness and measure progress. The Legal Division recognizes that estimates may be affected by changed circumstances; but, because the estimates are used in making business decisions, they must be as accurate as possible.

If you need to later amend your approved Budget, you must submit an Amended Budget Package (see Section 6.6). Refer to the relevant Budget forms.

6.2 Case Plan
Upon commencement of a legal matter, you should discuss the matter with your Oversight Attorney. Then prepare a Case Plan that sets forth the major steps you will take to accomplish asset recovery, or successful defense or prosecution of a case. For litigation matters, the Case Plan outlines the anticipated course of action based on the assumption that the case will go to trial. It also proposes a plan for settlement, unless settlement is clearly inappropriate.

If you are handling a number of cases that are routine and involve similar issues or approaches, you may develop and submit a standardized Case Plan applicable for all such cases. When appropriate, note factors that differ between cases in the Case Plan. The decision to submit a standardized Case Plan will be made in conjunction with your Oversight Attorney.

6.3 Budget
The Budget translates the Case Plan into financial expectations. The Budget should:

  • Conform to the Case Plan; and
  • Estimate the total cost of fees and expenses.

Budget Forms
There are two types of Budget forms, each corresponding to a specific legal matter type, as follows:

  • Litigation
  • Non-Litigation
NOTE:  Make sure the Budget conforms to the Case Plan for the legal matter.

Completing the Budget Form
Following are the instructions for completing a Budget form.

1. Select the Budget form appropriate for your legal matter.

2. Fill out all requested information on the Budget form.

3. In particular, indicate in the appropriate box whether you are billing at an hourly rate, fixed fee, or contingent fee.

4. Refer to the following table to determine information required for the type of billing you entered.

                        Rate

 Information Required

Hourly

  • Complete the budget sections in which legal fees and expenses are expected

Fixed Fee

  • Record the fixed fee as a total without further itemization.
     
  • Submit the estimated completion date and allowable related expenses

5. If appropriate, calculate the total estimated number of hours for all service providers.

6. Sign and date the Budget.

6.4 Budget Package Submission
Once you have completed the Budget Package, you must submit it to the FDIC for approval. The following steps outline the submission and approval process.

1. Submit the Budget Package as instructed in your referral letter. This package consists of the Case Plan and Budget form.

NOTE: If the Budget is in excess of $100,000, ensure that you are in compliance with the Byrd Amendment by submitting the Byrd Amendment Certification - PDF or Disclosure form - PDF with your Budget Package

2. Your Oversight Attorney reviews the Budget Package. If it is satisfactory, your Oversight Attorney will recommend approval by the appropriate FDIC delegated authority.

3. The Legal Division will notify you when the Budget Package is approved.

6.5 Amended Budget Package
If the approved Budget is not sufficient to complete a case or matter, you must submit an amended Budget Package. You should do this as soon as you anticipate that the approved Budget is not likely to be sufficient. Do not wait until after you have exceeded the approved Budget.

Written approval from the Legal Division is required for any increase in the approved Budget. Make sure the amendment has been approved before you exceed the Budget. The Legal Division allows exceptions to this policy only when extraordinary circumstances arise.

NOTE: Failure to obtain written FDIC approval for an Amended Budget will be deemed a serious breach of your duty to the FDIC and may result in non-payment or disallowance of fees or expenses exceeding authorized amounts. You must report to your Oversight Attorney immediately any anticipated Budget changes.

An Amended Budget Package contains:

NOTE: If the Amended Budget exceeds $100,000, make sure that you are in compliance with the Byrd Amendment. If the previous Budget exceeded $100,000, it is not necessary to submit another Byrd Amendment Certification.

Completing the Amended Budget Package
Following are the instructions for completing an amended Budget Package.

1. Prepare a separate narrative explaining the reasons for the amendment.

2. If necessary, prepare an amended Case Plan that provides detail commensurate with the significance of the legal matter. For Litigation and PLS matters the amended Case Plan should summarize revised strategy and project the schedule for preparing and trying the case, including all expected litigation events.

3. Select the Amended Budget form appropriate to your legal matter.

4. Fill out all requested information on the Amended Budget form, in a manner similar to the original Budget form.

5. Mark the appropriate box if you have submitted a previous amended budget.

6. Use the most recent approved figures in the column for “Current Budget.”

7. Sign and date the Amended Budget.

6.6 Amended Budget Package Submission
Once you have completed the Amended Budget Package, you must submit it to the FDIC for approval. The following steps outline the submission and approval process.

1. Submit the Amended Budget Package in the same manner as your original Budget Package, as instructed in your referral letter. This package consists of the amended Case Plan and Amended Budget Form. Also include the Byrd Amendment Certification - PDF or Disclosure form - PDF if fees and expenses now exceed $100,000.

2. Your Oversight Attorney reviews the Amended Budget Package. If it is satisfactory your Oversight Attorney will recommend approval by the appropriate FDIC delegated authority.

3. The Legal Division will notify you when the Amended Budget Package is approved.



Last Updated 05/20/2005 legal@fdic.gov