Why is my lawyer asking for a lump sum of money on account?

This upfront lump sum payment is called a retainer, and acts as a deposit for future legal services. The purpose of the retainer is to secure and retain their legal services, and is normally calculated by multiplying the lawyer’s hourly rate by the anticipated number of hours work.

For example, if a lawyer charges 200 pounds per hour and they estimate spending 20 hours on your case – the retainer they request could be 4000 pounds.

It is usual that the monies held in the retainer are then drawn down as work progresses. It is important to note that a retainer is just an estimate and the actual amount of time spent, and the final legal costs may differ.

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