You may have heard the expression that a company keeps a lawyer “on retainer,” and you’ve wondered exactly what it means. Why would a business keep a lawyer on retainer and what sort of companies need to retain a lawyer? Should I keep a lawyer on retainer for my business during bankruptcy? Here are some simple answers that will help clear up the mystery of why some firms keep lawyers standing by until needed and will help you decide if your company should retain a lawyer.
What Does It Mean to Keep a Lawyer on Retainer?
Retaining a lawyer simply means that a business has an agreement with a legal counselor to provide certain specified legal services if and when those services are needed, like a chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can explain.. There are several different kinds of retainer agreements:
- A “general retainer” is the most common type of agreement. It specifies that a lawyer or a firm is ready to give legal advice and representation for the company as needed.
- There is a second type of retainer allowed in some states called the “special retainer” that is given to a lawyer for the completion of a specific task, such as writing a contract.
- A third type is called the “retaining fee.” This is a sum of money a company deposits, knowing that it will pay for a certain amount of work an lawyer is doing and, when more work is billed, the company adds additional funds.
How Does a Business Decide to Retain a chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer?
The answer to that question really centers around how likely it is that a business will encounter bankruptcy legal issues. For instance, if a company is facing huge debts and it is about to announce bankruptcy, if a company is weighing bankruptcy options, these are all significant reasons to have a lawyer on retainer.
Is Software or Internet Advice an Acceptable Substitute for a Lawyer?
The simple answer is no. There are several important factors to consider. Legal software and online legal services by their nature have to be very generalized. They are not in touch either with the specifics of your particular business or the nuances and frequent legal changes that might affect your company. While the anecdotal accounts of individuals on social media sites are entertaining, they cannot keep you out of court, negotiate for your company’s business rights or give you germane legal advice. Retain a Bankruptcy Lawyer and your business will receive timely, accurate legal counsel whenever needed.