LEGAL RETAINER IN NIGERIA
Legal Retainership can be defined as a contractual relationship between an hired lawyer and a client (Individual or Corporation) specifying the nature of the services to be rendered and the cost for rendering such services. Retainership may involve managing a cause, instituting or defending an action or performing general legal services on behalf of a client.
Generally, it is common for the services of a lawyer can be employed by an individual or a Corporate body for professional legal services to be rendered for a particular purpose. A legal retainer means that a client employs the legal services of a lawyer for a period of time with the payment of a fee called Retainer fee. In return the lawyer provides some legal services
A retainer fee is an advanced payment that is made by an individual or corporate client to a lawyer, which is usually considered as a down payment on future services to be rendered by a lawyer.
Retainership is often times useful for individuals or corporations that need constant legal services. For example, if a lawyer is hired for the purpose of litigation, the lawyer will be authorized to accept service of documents and act on behalf of the client.
When a lawyer is employed on a legal retainer by a client, the client prevents the attorney from acting on behalf of an adverse party.
The major types of legal retainership
Commonly, in matters that involve extensive legal professional work, there will be a retainer agreement signed by the lawyer and the client. The agreement contains the nature of services to be performed by the lawyer, the retainer fee charged and the tenure of the retainer relationship.
Furthermore, an additional payment of fees may be required where the time spent on the task or service increases, especially where such retainership involves litigation. This is based upon the volume of work done by the lawyer on a retainership. Also, a lawyer on retainership may charge the client additional where the professional legal task to be performed is not included in the retainership agreement.
In conclusion, a legal retainership is a work for hire relationship, which is either on a full-time or part-time basis. The purpose is for the performance of services that defines the terms of the working relationship.
It is worthy of note that in the absence of the lawyer performing his professional duties in line with the retainership, the retainership agreement maybe terminated by the client.
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