Why Do I Need A Fee Agreement?
Sitting in 1L Contracts, you were probably more worried about how to define “consideration” rather than how to draft a valid contract. As you have settled into your law practice, you likely prepare and review contracts every day. But are you using a contract for yourself?
A properly drafted fee agreement protects both you and your client. The fee argreement should make both parties explicitly aware of the terms and scope of the contract. Many disputes between lawyers and their clients are about money. So, it should also set the attorney’s fees, associated costs, and how and when the client will pay. Because, if there is a dispute down the road, the agreement can assist in fee retention. Oral fee agreements may be subject to different interpretations. However, a written contract forces both parties to be very clear about what they expect of each other. Fee agreements also assist in managing risk arising from legal malpractice and disciplinary liability.
As lawyers, many of us live by the old adage, “if it is not in writing, it didn’t happen.” In short, a fee agreement is a contract that will give you and your client peace of mind during the course of your representation.
Need a fee agreement or want to check your letter of representation to ensure all terms are included? You can find AttPro templates at Sample Forms (attorneyprotective.com).
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