Retainers are agreements between a client and the law firm or lawyer outlining the contractual obligations between the lawyer or law firm and the client. There are two components to a retainer:
- The actual, written document that the client signs that outlines the contractual obligations between the client and the law firm; and
- The related retainer payment. The retainer payment is not a fixed fee, nor is it an estimate or a quote for expected fees; rather, it is a deposit that is paid by the client for future work and expenses that the law firm will incur on behalf of the client.