What Is an “Evergreen” Retainer?
If you’re working with a divorce or family law attorney, you may have an “evergreen” retainer.
Read on to learn what an evergreen retainer is and how it works.
What Is a Retainer?
A “retainer” is the funds that a client deposits with a law firm. The law firm puts those funds into its trust (or “IOLTA“) account and draws on them to pay the client’s invoices as work progresses.
Why Law Firms Use Evergreen Retainers
As a client of a divorce law firm, you may have an “evergreen retainer.” This means that at certain points in your case — this will be described in your engagement agreement (also called a “fee agreement”) with the firm – you will need to add more funds to your retainer. This keeps your account active and ready for the next phase of your case. Staying on top of your evergreen retainer replenishment helps ensure that your legal representation continues without interruption.
Another benefit of evergreen retainers is that they allow clients to deposit less money with their law firm upfront. They allow clients to make smaller (although still substantial) deposits over time rather than one large deposit at the very beginning of the divorce. In other words, evergreen retainers aren’t an estimate of how much your divorce will cost.
Please reach out with any questions.