What is a LEDES invoice?
Pronounced “leeds,” LEDES stands for Electronic Data Exchange Standard, and is a set of file format specifications that directs electronic data transmission in the legal industry. The types of LEDES and their specifications are maintained by the LEDES Oversight Committee or LOC. The LOC was created in 1995 to address online billing issues, and in 2000, became a Californian mutual-benefit corporation.
The LOC currently maintains four sets of data elements and four data exchange format types. The four sets of data elements are: activity codes, expense codes, timekeeper classification codes, and Uniform Task Management Codes or UTBMS. The four data exchange format types are electronic billing, budgeting, timekeeper attributes, and intellectual property matter management.
What are the types of LEDES formats?
- LEDES 1998: this format is no longer in use and was the first LEDES format.
- LEDES 1998B: This plain text file was adopted in 1998 and is the more commonly used LEDES format. It has a rigid structure, and invoice-level data is repeated on every line item even though it is only needed once, as it does not vary per line. Many law firms prefer this standard for its simplicity and familiarity, although non-standard customizations are often imposed, thus defeating the purpose of it.
- LEDES XML2000: This was adopted in 2000, and is an XML format. While this structure is well-defined, this specification defines “extend” segments, allowing the insertion of client-specific fields without violating the standard.
- LEDES 1998BI: A plain text file, this format accommodates legal bills generated outside of the United States and includes all of the fields in the LEDES 1998B format.
- LEDES XML2.0: An XML file, this format contains 15 segments and 153 data elements.
- LEDES XML2.1: The most recent LEDES file type to be ratified (2008), this format contains 16 segments and 191 data elements.
List of UTBMS Codes for LEDES Invoicing
- A101 Plan and prepare for
- A102 Research
- A103 Draft/revise
- A104 Review/analyze
- A105 Communicate (in firm)
- A106 Communicate (with client)
- A107 Communicate (other outside counsel)
- A108 Communicate (other external)
- A109 Appear for/attend
- A110 Manage data/files
- A111 Other
- E101 Copying
- E102 Outside printing
- E103 Word processing
- E104 Facsimile
- E105 Telephone
- E106 Online research
- E107 Delivery services/messengers
- E108 Postage
- E109 Local travel
- E110 Out-of-town travel
- E111 Meals
- E112 Courtfees
- E113 Subpoena fees
- E114 Witness fees
- E115 Deposition transcripts
- E116 Trial transcripts
- E117 Trial exhibits
- E118 Litigation support vendors
- E119 Experts
- E120 Private investigators
- E121 Arbitrators/mediators
- E122 Local counsel
- E123 Other professionals
- E124 Other
Bankruptcy Code Set
- B110 Case Administration
- B120 Asset Analysis and Recovery
- B130 Asset Disposition
- B140 Relief from Stay/Adequate Protection Proceedings
- B150 Meetings of and Communications with Creditors
- B160 Fee/Employment Applications
- B170 Fee/Employment Objections
- B180 Avoidance Action Analysis
- B185 Assumption/Rejection of Leases and Contracts
- B190 Other Contested Matters (excluding assumption/rejection motions)
- B195 Non-Working Travel
- B200 Operations
- B210 Business Operations
- B220 Employee Benefits/Pensions
- B230 Financing/Cash Collections
- B240 Tax Issues
- B250 Real Estate
- B260 Board of Directors Matters
- B300 Claims and Plan
- B310 Claims Administration and Objections
- B320 Plan and Disclosure Statement (including Business Plan)
- B400 Bankruptcy-Related Advice
- B410 General Bankruptcy Advice/Opinions
- B420 Restructurings
Project Code Set
- P100 Project Administration
- P200 Fact Gathering/Due Diligence
- P210 Corporate Review
- P220 Tax
- P230 Environmental
- P250 Employee/Labor
- P260 Intellectual Property
- P270 Regulatory Reviews
- P280 Other
- P300 Structure/Strategy/Analysis
- P400 Initial Document Preparation/Filing
- P500 Negotiation/Revision/Responses
- P600 Completion/Closing
- P700 Post-Completion/Post-Closing
- P800 Maintenance and Renewal
Counseling Code Set
- C100 Fact Gathering
- C200 Researching Law
- C300 Analysis and Advice
- C400 Third Party Communication
For more information on UTBMS code sets, please refer to the American Bar Association, as the ABA sets and monitors these sets of standards.
“Uniform Task-Based Management System.” American Bar Association, www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/resources/uniform_task_based_management_system/.