Is a Retainer Fee Refundable?

An attorney’s retainer can serve as a flat fee that is nonrefundable to secure services, or it can serve as a refundable retainer that serves as a deposit in which the lawyer deducts hourly fees when used, according to Ingenuity Law. Unused funds are returned with a refundable retainer.

When an attorney receive a retainer, the payee is secured as a client, and the attorney agrees not to conduct work that conflicts with the services needed by the client, according to Ingenuity Law. When work is performed, fees are deducted from a refundable retainer, and when the work equals the value of the retainer, the client is often billed for additional work.