Lawyer Retainer Fee Links
Lawyer Retainer Fees (continued)
If at the start of the representation the retainer agreement describes the fee as an advance payment
against future billings, the money should be placed in a trust account and belongs to the client until the
billing transpires. When the fee is earned, the lawyer sends the client a notice and the funds can be
withdrawn from the account. If the retainer fee agreement notes the funds are nonrefundable or as
earned upon receipt, the funds do not have to be placed in a trust account. It belongs to the
You should also be suspicious if the retainer seems very low. It is likely that the
lawyer is simply quoting you a very low retainer in order to get your business and has little or no intention of staying within it.
The expenses that are used to calculate a retainer fee are usually based on the circumstances at that
time. and it can easily vary if the circumstances change. The lawyer should be able to give you and idea
of what to expect. For example, if your case is filed with the court, you must pay court costs to file the
case. You may also be expected to pay the costs for depositions, expert witnesses, long distance
telephone charges made by your lawyer on your case, copying charges, courier and postal services, etc.
Be careful agreeing to hire an lawyer who's retainer fee seems very low. It could be a way of getting your
business, only to add on the real hidden costs afterwards.