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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

Invoice Package

7.1 Invoice Package

This chapter covers the procedures for completing an Invoice Package and submitting it to the FDIC.

Complete a separate Invoice Package for each matter you have been assigned. The FDIC assigns each matter a different matter number. Therefore, each matter should have its own invoice. Each matter is charged to a different account and is often supervised by a different Oversight Attorney.

The Invoice Package consists of the following:

As discussed in Chapter 6 (Case Plan and Budget), you must have an approved Budget from the FDIC before you can be paid. An approved Budget gives you the “all clear” to submit an Invoice Package for payment of your services.

7.2 Invoice Package Submission
When

You should submit Invoice Packages on a monthly basis unless the amount (fees and expenses) to be invoiced is less than $500. If the amount (fees and expenses) is less than $500, you should submit Invoice Packages on a quarterly basis, unless doing so would cause undue hardship to your firm.

You should submit Invoice Packages for fees and expenses within 30 days of the last day in your billing period, except as noted above.

The Legal Division recognizes that firms may experience delays in receiving supporting documentation for expenses included in your Invoice Package to the FDIC. Therefore, you should submit Invoice Packages for such expenses within 60 days of the last date in your billing period.

At the conclusion or termination of the matter, you should submit your final Invoice Package for fees and expenses within 90 days of the matter’s conclusion or termination. Refer to Chapter 8 and Chapter 9.

NOTE: You may not bill the FDIC more than once per month. You also may not bill for overlapping service periods (e.g., May 1 through May 31 and then May 15 through June 15).

Failure to submit invoices in a timely manner as set forth above may significantly delay the FDIC’s invoice processing and payment.

ABSENT EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES, THE FDIC WILL NOT PAY INVOICES SUBMITTED OVER ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE THAT SERVICES ARE RENDERED.

Where
The distribution and mailing instructions are unique to the Legal Division office or section supervising the matter. See your referral letter or contact your Oversight Attorney for instructions.

7.3 Billable Fees and Expenses
You may bill the FDIC reasonable charges for fees and expenses in accordance with the following guidelines.

Fees
You may bill the FDIC reasonable fees at approved LSA rates or other billing arrangements approved by FDIC in writing for:

·   Legal work on matters as approved; and
·
   Travel time (when no substantive FDIC work is performed) at 50% of
    approved LSA rate.

NOTE: The FDIC requires law firms to reduce the hourly rate charged by 50% while an attorney is traveling unless legal work is being performed for the FDIC. The FDIC does not pay for First Class airfares or luxury hotel accommodations. The FDIC will pay only for air travel at coach rates, and accommodations at the lower of the government or corporate discount rates. Travel-related expenses must be incurred in a prudent manner and in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the Deskbook.








Compensation cannot be based upon a contingent fee arrangement unless specifically approved in writing. Absent express Legal Division permission, experts and other professional service providers may only be compensated for fees and expenses in accordance with the requirements of this Deskbook. . The Legal Division considers your oversight of experts and other professional service providers an important duty under your legal referral.

Expenses
You may bill the FDIC reasonable charges for the following expenses. Requirements for submitting copies of receipts are indicated below. These requirements do not alter your duty to maintain original receipts and other supporting documentation for all expenses for audit purposes.

  • Itemized in-house copy charges (no more than $.08 per page; no receipts necessary, but indicate total number of copies).
  • Itemized fax charges (telephone long distance charge (line charge) is the only acceptable charge; receipts not necessary).
  • Itemized long distance telephone charges (receipts not necessary).
  • Itemized overnight delivery (receipts necessary). Itemization should include name of person to whom the delivery was sent.
  • Itemized electronic research (receipts and/or invoices necessary). Itemization should include person’s name who is performing the research. In addition, the FDIC Research Bank should be consulted before any other research is performed and it should be itemized on the invoice. Prior approval by the Oversight Attorney is required for electronic research.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses relating to providing training to FDIC
  • Itemized extraordinary postage (i.e., bulk or certified mail; receipts necessary).
  • Expert witnesses and other professional service providers (invoices for fees and receipts for expenses necessary).
  • Investigators (invoices for fees and receipts for expenses necessary).
  • Court reporters (invoices necessary).
  • Outside photocopying (receipts and/or invoices necessary).
  • Publication notices (receipts and/or invoices necessary).
  • Other Subcontractors, if approved (receipts and/or invoices necessary).
  • Filing Fees (receipts and/or invoices necessary). Please note that outside counsel should not bill for federal court fees when filing on behalf of the FDIC.
  • Other case-specific (non-overhead) expenses (receipts and/or invoices necessary). Approval should be documented in the case file.
  • Allowable travel expenses (refer to Section 7.7 for submission and receipt requirements).

NOTE:  State and local taxes on FDIC allowable expenses will be reimbursed.

7.4 Non-Billable Fees and Expenses
You may not bill the FDIC for the following fees and expenses:

Non-Billable Fees

  • Services of billable individuals who have not been included on the FDIC approved rate schedule attached to your LSA.
  • Excessive number of attorneys performing services in a matter.
  • Invoice preparation, review, or for corrections to the invoice required by the FDIC oversight attorney or legal Information technician.
  • Secretarial or clerical overtime that has not been approved by your Oversight Attorney.
  • Hourly fees for time spent photocopying, sending facsimiles, etc.
  • Excessive intra-office conferences between attorneys or paralegals for the purpose of providing instruction or status.
  • Excessive time spent in “file review.”
  • Excessive time spent in “review and revision” of documents that you prepare.
  • Educational or development costs for you to become generally familiar with statutory and case law affecting the FDIC.
  • Charging attorney time for tasks that should be performed efficiently and effectively at less expense by a paralegal or secretary, or charging paralegal time for tasks that should be performed by clerical workers.
  • Hours charged at a more senior attorney rate when a matter should be handled by a less senior attorney.
  • Routine budget preparation.
  • Charging attorney time for preparing and presenting training to the FDIC.

Non-Billable Expenses

  • Ordinary postage.
  • Charges related to word processing.
  • Charges other than “actual time” charges for electronic research (e.g., Westlaw or Lexis).  The FDIC Research Bank should be consulted before any other legal research is performed.
  • In-house photocopying charges at more than $0.08 per copy.
  • Clerical time for photocopying, sending facsimiles, filing etc.
  • Excessive/unnecessary overnight mail charges.
  • Meals, unless you are on approved travel.
  • Daily commuting expenses.
  • Sales tax (except for lodging) or surcharges imposed by utilities or phone services.
  • Tax on services.
  • Any costs relating to filing fees in United States District Courts or Courts of Appeal which the FDIC is not required to pay (pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1819(b)(4)).
  • Cell phone roaming charges.
  • A service that is customarily included in the normal overhead or administrative expense of running a law firm (e.g., rent, electricity, local telephone charges, HVAC, bill preparation).

7.5 Over Budget Invoices
If the full payment of the Invoice Package causes the legal matter to exceed the grand total of the approved Budget, the FDIC will notify you.  The Invoice Package cannot be paid until an Amended Budget is submitted and approved.  Refer to Chapter 6 for further information. 

NOTE:  The Invoice Package will be returned to you with a notice that an approved Amended Budget is required before the Invoice Package can be properly resubmitted for payment.






7.6 Law Firm Invoice Format

Law firm invoice format requirements are discussed below.

Fees
Use the following format when totaling the hours and charges for all legal services:  

Date of Service

Name/Initials of Individual

Service/Activity
Description

Approved Hourly Rate

Time Charged

Amount (Rate x Time)

8/11/04

 Jfb

Draft Motion to Dismiss Complaint

 $120.00

 5 hrs.

 $600.00

Use the following format for recapitulation of the total services billed on your statement:

Service By

 Title

 Hours

 Hourly Rate

 Total

John Brown

 Partner

 16.10

 $150.00

 2,145.00

Jane Green

 Associate

 31.50

   110.00

 3,465.00

Brian White

 Paralegal

 10.00

     45.00

   450.00

Block Billing of Services
Time billed for each activity should be identified separately. Do not combine different types of activities in one entry on the invoice. “Block billing” of fees is not acceptable, even if the same individual performed the activities, except for multiple, related activities for which only a small amount of time (no more than 30 minutes) is expended, as in the following example:

Date of Service

Name/Initials of Individual

Service/Activity
Description

Approved Hourly Rate

Time Charged

Amount (Rate x Time)

8/18/04

 RJG

Phone conference with E. White re: briefing schedule; draft letter to E. White re:same

 $120.00

 .20 hrs.

 $24.00

Description of Fees
The description of services or activity should be brief and informative.

 Not Acceptable

 Acceptable

"Research"

"Legal research on statute of limitations issues."

"Telephone calls"

"Telephone calls to J. James and M. Smith re: motion to dismiss."

Time Increments
Billing in increments of greater than 0.1 billing hour (6 minutes) is unacceptable.

Expenses
Use the following format for expenses:

  • Copy charges (unit cost multiplied by unit amount).
  • Fax charges (date, phone number, and amount); telephone long distance charge (line charge) is the only acceptable charge.
  • Long distance telephone charges (date, phone number, and amount).
  • Overnight delivery (date, amount and name to whom delivery was sent).
  • Electronic research, including the Legal Research Bank, (date, amount and name of person performing research).
  • Extraordinary postage (i.e., bulk or certified mail) (date and amount).

Claims for travel-related expenses must be made using the FDIC’s Law Firm Travel Voucher - Word (see also the sample travel voucher)

Example of Itemized Expenses

Expense

Amount

Photocopy                         (46@.08/pp)
Faxes                                 02/28/05 (617-261-9192)
Telephone                         02/02/05 (617-262-8119)
Overnight Delivery             02/15/05
                                          02/19/05
Electronic Research           02/2705
- Westlaw
Extraordinary Postage       02/1905
- Certified

 $3.68
   3.26
   6.78
  15.00
   6.75
  54.20

    2.75
 

J. Smith                              02/01/05 - 02/25/05
- Expert Witness

10,500.00

Acme Reporting

    425.00

Panic Copying

    230.00

Travel for J. Cox                   02/5-02/6
Washington DC to   Settlement Conference
Boston, MA

    780.00

7.7 Travel Reimbursement Guidelines
The following guidelines are provided to assist in compliance with requirements to limit expense reimbursement to those costs that do not exceed FDIC travel reimbursement regulations.

Eligibility for Reimbursement
To be entitled to travel reimbursement, you must be on a temporary assignment that is at least 50 miles in distance from either your office or residence.  If a temporary assignment concludes during the workday and is located within 100 miles of your office or residence, you are expected to return to your residence, rather than remain at the temporary location overnight.

Travel Authorization
You must ensure that all travel on behalf of the FDIC is necessary and approved by the Oversight Attorney.

Air Travel
Air travel should be in coach class only, unless you bear the cost of the difference between coach and business or first class.  Travel should be planned as far in advance as possible to take advantage of discounted fares, especially if reasonable certainty exists that the event will take place.  If a restricted fare is booked and you require a change, a reasonable exchange fee may be claimed. Special approval is required for international air travel.

Rental Cars
No car larger than a mid-size should be rented, unless there are three or more passengers or a larger vehicle is necessary to transport equipment, files, etc.. Deviations from standard policy should be documented.  Original receipts must support claims for rental car gasoline.  The FDIC will not reimburse you for Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) or Personal Effects Coverage (PEC).  The cost of Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) coverage is allowed if you do not have insurance coverage for collision damage.

Lodging
You should make use of government rates whenever possible. Any hotel expenses considered excessive or unreasonable will not be reimbursed.

Subsistence
On overnight travel status you may only be reimbursed on a per diem basis.  The current FDIC prorated per diem rates allowable are listed below. The current FDIC per diem rates allowable are listed in Section 16.0 of the Contractor Travel Reimbursement Guidelines. Specific per diem rates for different localities may be found on the General Services Administration (GSA) web site. Where the information contained on the GSA web site and FDIC Guidelines differs, the GSA web site controls. When you are on per diem, incidental expenses such as laundry and cleaning are considered to be covered by the per diem.

Per Diem for Overnight Travel
If travel extends into more than one calendar day, prorated per diem for partial days is required. One-fourth of the per diem allowance is payable for each quarter-day or fraction thereof:

Departing
  If you leave your
  residence/office
  between:

Prorated Per Diem Rates
 

12 Midnight to 5:59AM

100%

6:00 AM to 11:59 AM

75%

12 Noon to 5:59 PM

50%

6:00 PM to 11:59 PM

25%

 

Returning
  If you leave your
  residence/office
  between:

Prorated Per
Diem Rates
 

12 Midnight to 5:59AM

25%

6:00 AM to 11:59 AM

50%

12 Noon to 5:59 PM

75%

6:00 PM to 11:59 PM

100%

If you depart from and/or return directly to your residence, per diem is allowed from the time of departure from your residence until the time of return to your residence. If departure is from and/or return is to your office, per diem is allowed from the time of departure from your official station until the time of return to your official station. Outside Counsel must provide start and return times with their supporting travel documentation to demonstrate the number of quarters of the per diem allowance they are entitled to receive.

Miscellaneous Meal Expense
If you are in non-overnight travel status and are away from your residence for at least 11 consecutive hours excluding mealtime, you may be reimbursed on an actual expense incurred basis with the meal cost limited to a $10.00 charge (receipt required) or $6.00 without a receipt. 

Long Distance Personal Calls
While on an overnight travel assignment, you may claim the actual amount incurred, not to exceed $3 per day, for personal long distance calls. This is in addition to per diem, if applicable. Itemize your calls on the Law Firm Travel Voucher.

Use of Privately-Owned Vehicle
You may be reimbursed for use of your privately-owned vehicle while on FDIC-related business. The maximum reimbursement rate will be the rate stipulated by the IRS.

If you choose to use your vehicle in lieu of air travel, the maximum reimbursement will be the lesser of the cost of air travel or mileage reimbursement and the additional per diem, if any.

NOTE: FDIC does not insure privately-owned vehicles for liability.

Taxicabs
The use of taxicabs is permitted while you are on official travel for FDIC. Reimbursement for taxicab fares (plus the customary 15% tip) will be made only if an appropriate receipt is submitted. Taxi hire is appropriate when:

·  Public transportation, airport limousine service, and/or hotel courtesy
   transportation is not available or when time or other factors make it
   impractical to use available public conveyances;

·
 Traveling between transportation terminals and your residence, hotel or
   office while on official travel status; or for

·
 Traveling from your residence to your office to depart on assignment
   requiring at least one night’s lodging, and from your office to your
   residence on the day you return from that trip.

Taxi fares for trips used to obtain meals will not be reimbursed.

Non-Reimbursable Travel Expenses
Examples of expenses that will not be reimbursed include the following:

·  Alcoholic beverages, entertainment;
·
  Laundry, dry cleaning and pressing (covered by per diem reimbursement);
·  Travel insurance;
·
  Parking fines;
·
  Gratuities and tips paid to service staff inside the lodging facility (covered
    by per diem reimbursement).
·
   Cost of travel for spouses, other family members, and friends is not
  
 allowable under any circumstances.

Travelers will not be reimbursed for excess costs caused by:

·  An indirect route as a matter of personal preference;
·
  Premature departure for personal reasons from a temporary location; or
·
  Extending a stay for personal reasons.

Law Firm Travel Voucher Completion
After completion of travel, a Law Firm Travel Voucher must be submitted with the Invoice Package for reimbursement. Indicate the purpose of travel on the first line. Dates and times of each departure from residence or office, arrival at the place of temporary assignment, and arrival at the office or residence must be shown on the Law Firm Travel Voucher - Word (see also the sample Travel Voucher).

Receipts
Except for per diem expenses, you must submit valid original receipts with the Law Firm Travel Voucher for all travel expenditures regardless of cost. If a receipt is not normally provided for the expense (bus or subway token, etc.) the certification signed by the traveler on the Law Firm Travel Voucher will justify the expense.

Receipts submitted with the Law Firm Travel Voucher should be originals indicating the name of the payee, date paid, amount, and the service rendered. This includes the original Passenger Receipt Coupon of the airline ticket. If an electronic ticket is used, the boarding passes for each flight must be submitted with the Law Firm Travel Voucher.

Penalties  

WARNING: The penalty for submitting a Law Firm Travel Voucher that knowingly falsifies any item in the claim can be three times the amount of the claim plus a civil money penalty of $10,000 under the False Claims Act.  31 U.S.C. 3729.  Also, false statements may be criminally prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. 1001.  The penalty can be up to 5 years in jail.  A corporation that violates 18 U.S.C. 1001 can be fined up to $500,000.  18 U.S.C. 3571. 

7.8 LIF&E Form
The following provides guidance when completing the LIF&E form - Word.

  • Each invoice must have a number unique to the law firm or law firm office that is submitting the invoice.
     

NOTE If you are submitting multiple Invoice Packages, make sure you have a separate LIF&E form for each Invoice Package.


  • The invoice number can be no longer than 20 characters. Omit any dashes, slashes, spaces, leading zeros, or other special characters.  
     
  • The law firm and financial institution involved with the legal matter must be the same as identified in the referral letter.  
     
  • The billing period should be monthly. For example: FROM: 12/01/05 THROUGH: 12/30/05.  
     
  • The billing period should be quarterly when monthly fees and expenses are less than $500. For example: FROM: 01/01/05 THROUGH: 03/31/05.  
     
  • If there are expenses incurred for anything other than the present billing period or the immediately preceding billing period, ensure that the expenses have not been previously reimbursed.

·   Sign at the bottom to certify that the LIF&E form is true and correct. The
LIF&E form must have an original signature.
 

7.9 FDIC Invoice Package Review
The Invoice Package should be submitted in a timely manner (refer to Section 7.2) and as directed in your referral letter or by your Oversight Attorney. Upon receipt, the FDIC Legal Information Technician reviews the package and does one of two things:

a. Forwards it to your Oversight Attorney for review and/or approval; or

b. Rejects it. If your Invoice Package is rejected, your Oversight Attorney or Legal Information Technician will notify you of the deficiencies to be corrected.

The Oversight Attorney performs a substantive review of your invoice. If any amounts are disallowed, you will be notified at the time of payment; such information appears on the check stub or EFT remittance form.

NOTE: FDIC invoice processing time is a minimum of thirty (30) days after receipt of a correct or proper Invoice Package.  Payment is generally not made in less than thirty (30) days.

The FDIC is required by statute to make payments by electronic funds transfer (wire transfer) absent a waiver. 









7.10 Reconsideration of Disallowances
You must submit all requests for reconsideration of disallowances within 90 days from receipt of notice of disallowance.  The request must include matter number, invoice number, and the amount disputed, along with justification for reconsideration (e.g., copies of missing documentation, narrative rationale).

NOTE:  The submission of erroneous bills or requests for reimbursement of inappropriate charges may result in sanctions.  Under no circumstances may Outside Counsel attempt a set-off or recoupment, obtain a charging or retaining lien, or withhold files in the event of a dispute over payment for services rendered.






7.11 Audit and Records Retention
Outside Counsel must permit the FDIC, the FDIC Office of Inspector General, the FDIC Legal Division's Internal Review Unit, and the General Accounting Office, or their representatives, to conduct audits or reviews of your FDIC billings, including previously paid Invoice Packages.

For purposes of subsequent audits, Outside Counsel must retain the following:

  • Copies of all Invoice Packages (refer to Section 7.1);  
  • Original underlying support documentation not submitted with the Invoice Package; and 
  • Original time sheets and time and expense adjustment records. Example of adjustment records includes documentation explaining differences between time sheet hours and invoice hours for billable individuals.

See the Electronic Billing Guidelines for recording requirements. The FDIC reserves the right to obtain additional information upon review of any itemized fee bill or support documentation.

7.12 Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to questions often raised by Outside Counsel when submitting Invoice Packages.

May I have expert witnesses hired by my firm call you when they have questions about their payment?
No. Any expert or other entity hired or retained by your firm is a subcontractor and should address all payment questions to you. Their invoices are included as expenses in your Invoice Package to the FDIC. The FDIC will not pay them directly.

When should I submit an Invoice Package?
On a monthly basis, if the total equals $500.00 or more. If your total is less than $500.00, submit your Invoice Packages quarterly, unless this causes undue hardship.

May I bill for clerical or secretarial overtime? 
No, unless such overtime is requested by the Legal Division or occasioned by an emergency situation created by the FDIC. In any case, the Oversight Attorney assigned to your matter must approve clerical or secretarial overtime.

I know I may bill the FDIC for extraordinary postage (e.g. bulk or certified mail). May I also charge for ordinary postage?
No.

What common mistakes should I avoid when submitting my Invoice Package?
Make sure you use a different invoice number for each Invoice Package you submit.

Ensure the totals on your Invoice Package equal the totals on the LIF&E form.

Do not forget to submit all necessary receipts.

Make sure your “billing from” and “billing through” dates do not overlap. For example, if an Invoice Package covers the period from January 2 to January 16, a subsequent Invoice Package should not cover the period from January 10 to January 29.

Be sure to itemize attorney and non-attorney fees separately.

Our firm charges $0.10 per page for in-house photocopying. May I bill the FDIC for this amount?
No, the maximum charge is $0.08 per page.

What information do I need to include regarding fax and phone charges?
You need to include the date, phone number and charge for each call. The bill from the carrier must be retained for three years after final payment under the legal referral for audit purposes.

What happens if there is something wrong with my Invoice Package?
An FDIC Legal Information Technician will notify you. If certain fees and expenses are disallowed, you will be notified on your check stub or EFT remittance form.

NOTE:  Where the provisions of the Guidelines and Legal Division policies are contrary, the Legal Division policies and the Deskbook control.

 



Last Updated 04/09/2011 legal@fdic.gov