How Does Attorney Billing Work?

Updated: Mar 25




Retainers, Invoices and Trust Accounts

Once you have retained our firm you will receive an Employment Contract outlining the scope of our legal representation and compensation. That contract governs the relationship from start to finish and the attorney-client relationship begins upon payment of retainer and signing the Employment Contract.  


Our Firm works on an “evergreen” retainer model, which requires a renewal of the retainer each month.  The retainer is an amount paid to the firm upfront that the firm’s invoices are billed against.  So, if a client pays a $5,000 retainer, and the firm’s first invoice is $2,000, then the firm deducts $2,000 from the retainer to pay the invoice, and there is a balance of $3,000 remaining in the client's trust account.  The client will then be sent a Trust Request for $2,000.00 to bring their trust account back to the original balance of $5,000.00. Once the case is finalized, the last invoice is paid by the trust account. If there is a positive balance after all fees and costs are deducted, the remaining retainer funds are refunded to the client when the representation ends.


Our Employment Contract states, if the client fails to replenish the retainer, the work on the file will cease, or the law firm will withdraw from the representation. This is important for the client to know and accept up front, in order to avoid the 10% interest accrued on an overdue balance or be forced to search for new counsel in the midst of litigation or the negotiation of an important transaction.


View a Sample Employment Contract



Rates and the Billable Hour

Each member of our team bills for time spent on the client's case, and each team member has their own billing rate. We bill in increments of tenths of an hour. (Example: .1 = 6 minutes). Any action that takes from 1 - 6 minutes to complete, will be charged at a .1, or 6 minutes, as that is the smallest billing increment. An action taking 7 - 12 minutes to complete will be charged at .2 and so on.


Every Invoice will have all team member's billable hours delineated along with a detailed description of the action taken. Any expenses paid on the client's behalf will appear on the Invoice as well.


View a Sample Invoice


View a Sample Trust Request