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If you have several legal needs, such as owning a business, owning properties for let, or having significant wealth, then you may need a solicitor at your beck and call. Having a law firm on retainer has many benefits such as not needing to work with an unfamiliar lawyer when you need one. This information can help you decide if you need to have a solicitor on retainer.

What Is a Retainer?

A retainer is a set fee paid to a lawyer or law firm in anticipation of needing their services. The fee, which is usually paid each month, is set by the firm according to the amount of work that they estimate they will do for you.

Retainer Agreements

To have a law firm on retainer, you will need to sign a contract called a retainer agreement. The retainer agreement will describe the agreement with the solicitor or law firm. A retainer agreement will outline:

  • The fees charged by the law firm
  • How they calculate the fees
  • How to pay the fees
  • The fee structure

Fee Structures

There are three fee structures that Dorking lawyers can choose from for their retainers:

  • Hourly: An hourly fee is the most common agreement with solicitors with fees ranging from £100 to £300 per hour.
  • Set Fees: Instead of charging their clients by the hour, some solicitors may agree on a set monthly fee or they may agree to cap their charges at a certain amount.
  • Conditional Fee Arrangements: A solicitor may agree to take a case on a contingency basis, which is a “no win, no fee” agreement. This agreement is formally known as a Conditional Fee Arrangement and the solicitors will not charge a fee unless the case is decided in your favour. If they win the case for you, then the solicitors will be reimbursed for their work from your winnings.

Additional Terms

The retainer agreement will often include additional terms regarding the relationship between you and the law firm. They include:

  • Extent of Representation: Retainer agreements usually have a provision that makes it clear that the law firm will represent you in all legal matters and proceedings, including trials.
  • Who Does the Work: An agreement may specify which solicitor is responsible for representing you in legal matters.
  • Ending the Relationship: The agreement may outline how to dissolve the relationship between the solicitor and the client. It may specify if or when a solicitor may quit and how the client is to end the relationship.
  • Working Arrangement: The retainer agreement may also include the legal decisions that a solicitor can make without consulting the client.

If you have many legal needs, retaining a law firm may help save you time and money when you need a lawyer.