What is a retainer, and how does it work?

What is a retainer, and how does it work?

When you decide to retain a lawyer at Crossroads Law for full representation, collaborative divorce, mediation, or arbitration, we usually require a retainer and possibly a recurring credit card authorization to initiate your file. A retainer is a sum of money held in a secure trust account by Crossroads Law, serving as a financial reserve for your legal fees and costs. This practice ensures that there are always funds available for services rendered. 

A retainer is an advance payment acting as a security for any fees incurred. The retainer amount varies based on your case's complexity.

Your retainer is held in trust by Crossroads Law throughout your case, unless it is used to pay your bill. Upon issuing a bill or Statement of Account, we will charge the due amount against your retainer in trust. If you have provided a credit card authorization, we will use your credit card to pay your bills and only process payment against your retainer in trust if for any reason we are unable to process the payment on your credit card. In such a scenario, we'll request you replenish the retainer in trust up to the initial retainer amount before we continue work on your file.

If your file will be going to trial or a special hearing, we will require a top up of retainer funds in trust to an amount that will satisfy our estimate of the costs of the trial or hearing. In such situations, your lawyer will contact you to discuss the anticipated costs and necessary retainer.

Once your case concludes, we will return any remaining retainer funds in trust to you via eTransfer, direct deposit, or cheque.