What is a Retainer?

For a lot of people, going through a separation is the first time they engage with a lawyer and legal jargon can add to a sense of overwhelm. We are taking the mystery out of some commonly used language to help make it easier for prospective clients to navigate the system.

A retainer is essentially a deposit towards the cost of legal services. It is an amount paid to our firm in trust, for deposit to your credit in the firm’s trust account, and it will be applied periodically towards accounts for legal services and disbursements when accounts are delivered.

The retainer is a source of payment for your account(s). Ideally, the amount of money in trust to your credit should cover the value of work performed and expenses incurred on your behalf. You may therefore be asked to replenish the retainer from time to time, to ensure that there is enough money in trust to cover legal services completed and necessary next steps.

A retainer is not a flat fee; you will be responsible for any fees and disbursements that are not covered by the retainer. However, any unused portion of the retainer will be returned to you at the end of our work together, when your file is closed.

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