Section of Litigation

Uniform Task-Based Management System

Important Background and Update

Task based billing codes for litigation were introduced by the ABA as an initiative of the ABA Section of Litigation, the American Corporate Counsel Association (now the Association of Corporate Counsel), and a sponsoring group of major corporate law departments and law firms coordinated and supported by Price Waterhouse LLP. Thereafter a Counseling Code Set, Project Code Set, and Bankruptcy Code Set were developed by a sponsoring group of major corporate law departments and law firms coordinated and supported by Price Waterhouse LLP.  Subsequently a Workers Compensation Code Set was developed.

The Litigation Code Set has formed the basis for most, if not all, schemes to record and bill time on an hourly basis. As there have been changes in practice (e.g., electronically stored information and so-called “e-discovery”) and changes in client needs (e.g., more and more clients insisting on a greater percentage of their work being handled on a basis other than hourly fees), it has become apparent that the ABA task based billing codes are in need of updating to keep them relevant to our membership.

In 2017–2018, ABA President Hilarie Bass created the ABA Working Group on Task Based Billing Codes, which she challenged to develop resources to help ABA members respond to these changing circumstances. 

Access the Working Group's toolkit, available for ABA members.

Uniform Task-Based Management System

Workers’ Compensation Code Set

Litigation Code Set

Counseling, Project, and Bankruptcy Code Sets


The authors hereby grant permission to use the codes and related definitions, in whole or in part, on a non-exclusive, royalty-free basis. In addition, this document may be freely reproduced and distributed in any electronic or hardcopy medium, on a nonexclusive, royalty-free basis, provided that this reproduction and distribution are not for profit, and that this title page is included in its entirety. This document has not been approved by either the Council of the Section of Litigation, or the ABA House of Delegates, and therefore, does not constitute official Section or ABA policy.

 Download the Codeset