There are 3 fee styles that I use:
- Flat rate
- Contingency fee
Flat rates are used in those styles of cases where the client is charged a sum certain for me to do the work. Depending upon the case, expenses may or may not be included in a flat rate fee.
Retainer fees are used in those styles of cases where the client pays me an initial sum certain to begin work on the case; the funds are immediately deposited into my Attorney Trust Account i.e. IOLTA (Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts). As the fee is earned and expenses are needed the funds are drawn from the IOLTA account; as time goes by, the retainer is replenished when needed and any monies not used are returned to the Client.
Contingency fees are used in those styles of cases where the Attorney gets a fee ONLY if the Client receives monetary value from the case; the amount of fee is based upon a negotiated rate between the Attorney and Client. As for expenses, the Attorney can cover the cost of expenses and is then reimbursed from the recovery or the Client covers expenses as the case progresses.
Not all cases are the same. Typically all areas of practice uses either a retainer fee or flat fee or a combination of both a retainer and flat rate. Contingency fees are typically offered in personal injury cases.