A lawyer retainer is a legal agreement between a client and an attorney that entails payment for a certain amount of work ahead of time. These agreements are typically used by both individuals and businesses for a variety of reasons, including obtaining an attorneyâ€™s opinion on important legal issues and ensuring access to an attorney when needed.
What is a Retainer Fee?
A retainer is a lump sum of money paid upfront that an attorney receives in a trust account. These funds are then withdrawn as the attorney works on the case or project. This can be an effective way to get a more accurate picture of the caseâ€™s cost and help ensure that the client is not billed for any extra costs that are incurred during the process.
Retainers are a good way to protect your interests, especially in the event that a lawsuit occurs and you have a limited budget for legal services. This type of legal arrangement can be helpful in cases such as employment disputes, intellectual property issues, debt and tax liabilities, real estate matters, and many others.
How a Retainer Fee is Earned
A legal retainer is a payment that you make to a lawyer in advance of working with them on a specific project or case. These fees are often deposited into a trust account and then withdrawn as the attorney works on your case. Recommended this site philadelphia personal injury lawyers
The retainer amount should be sufficient to cover the costs of the work that the attorney performs for you. If the amount is not enough, your attorney will request an additional deposit or bill you at the end of the contract for the remaining expenses.
How Retainers Are Calculated
Generally, lawyers charge retainer fees in proportion to the amount of time that they estimate they will need to spend on the case. This method of compensation is a popular choice for clients who want to budget their expenses and get a clearer idea of the total cost of their legal matter.
These retainer fees can be in the form of a fixed amount, such as a certain number of hours, or an hourly rate that is determined by the lawyer and the complexity of the case. You may also have the option to pay in monthly installments that are billed at a set percentage of the total estimated cost for your legal matter.
How a Retainer Works for You
When you sign a retainer with an attorney, they will provide you with a copy of the retainer agreement. It should contain the attorneyâ€™s contact rules, attorneyclient expectations, the terms of the retainer, and other relevant information. It is best to read the retainer agreement carefully from top to bottom and ask for clarification if you are confused.
You should also be provided with an accounting of the retainerâ€™s usage each month, so you can see what you are spending and how much money remains in the trust account. If your attorney does not account for the amount that is being spent or refunds any excess funds, you can file a dispute with the state bar association.