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What is an evergreen retainer?

Many law firms require clients to pay an advanced fee deposit[1] or a security deposit retainer[2] – a sum of money paid up front to be held in trust and to be used to pay invoices if the client fails to pay. As representation continues and fees climb, however, attorneys can rapidly find themselves in a situation where the client owes thousands of dollars but has no money left in trust to cover the outstanding invoices.

An evergreen retainer – a retainer where the clients must replenish the trust funds if they fall below a certain amount – allows attorneys to ensure that there are always trust funds available to pay the most recent invoice.[3][4] Good legal billing programs will show both the payment from trust and the requested trust replenishment amount on the client’s invoice:


References

1. Managing Client Trust Accounts
2. When Choosing a Retainer Option, 4 Types Stand Out
3. Tips For Improving Your Law Practice Cash Flow: Evergreen Retainer
4. Fee Tale: This Is Not Your Father’s Engagement Agreement