Every law firm must establish its practices in accordance with its vision and services. Labor relations between lawyers and clients must be based on strict principles. These should be reflected in the terms and conditions of the law firm’s contract or retention contract. This document should fully describe to clients the relationship they establish with the attorney (and the firm) representing them. There are a number of main points that should be included in this agreement.
It is important that the identity of the attorney and client is established first. This is worth noting, as some firms tend to enter into agreements on behalf of the legal person. This is also a viable option, provided that the responsibilities of each partner and employee and joint liability are specifically established.
The services provided by the attorney and his team should be described in sufficient detail. This first section clarifies why the retention fee will be charged. The obligations of each party should be indicated in the following sections. It is important that the client understands what to do to get the most out of the service that the law firm offers. In many cases, the timeline of the work to be performed by the attorney must also be included. This is an important provision for establishing the prepayment structure.
Particular attention should be paid to the actual retention fees section. The fees charged by the attorney and each of his associates must be clearly expressed in monetary terms. Generally, the methods by which the down payment fees are determined must be set out in a separate agreement, usually the law firm’s partnership agreement.
It is common practice that retention rates are subject to change. Any modifications that the rates may have should be explained. The advance contract must indicate under what circumstances these become valid. The size of the changes should also be indicated.
The law firm’s retention contract should have a section that clearly explains what these fees are and how they are charged. The document must indicate that the sum is transferred to the account of the company in the name of the client. There should be an explanation about the circumstances of the withdrawal of the fees and the expected timing. The agreement must foresee a possible termination of the service and how this will affect the payment and withdrawal of the advance.
There must be a separate clause on the expenses involved in providing the service provided by the attorney and his associates. These can include travel expenses and research costs. When and how they are paid must be clearly stated.
You can decide to sign a law firm retention contract on your own. Still, it’s a good idea to consider using a template made by professionals who specialize in this. Once you have the form, you can customize it based on your business practices and fee collection policies. This option gives you more security and provides smoother operation.