Contact Us For an Official Copy
Re: Representation of _______________________________
Dear : __________________________________,
For HIRSCH LAW GROUP to represent you in this matter, we require that you, as our client, review and execute this, our standard classic retainer agreement and our receipt of same will confirm our
engagement to represent _________________________________ in the above captioned matter. Our fee for these services will be an initial Classic RETAINER of
_______________________________________________________. The Classic Retainer is when funds are paid by a client in order to secure a lawyer’s availability. The money is earned by the lawyer immediately upon payment, is entirely NON-REFUNDABLE, and the client relinquishes all interest in its return. Our engagement is subject to HIRSCH LAW GROUP’s Policy Statement on Billing Practices. A copy of our Policy Statement is furnished to you with this letter and receipt of which is hereby acknowledged. All of the Terms and Conditions of the Policy Statement are incorporated herein by this reference and are part of this agreement.
You agree, as a condition to our undertaking this engagement and/or representation, to cooperate immediately, expeditiously and fully with HIRSCH LAW GROUP. Your duties include, but are not limited to, supplying HIRSCH LAW GROUP with necessary and required information; responding to inquiries promptly; appearing in court or at depositions when necessary; being cooperative in assisting in your representation when requested and paying progress billings when they are presented. If you fail to cooperate, HIRSCH LAW GROUP shall have the right to withdraw from representing you. We will not undertake this representation until both a signed copy of this letter is returned and the initial fee retainer is paid. A Retainer Invoice is included with this Agreement for your convenience.
HIRSCH LAW GROUP
GORDON H. HIRSCH
For the Firm
I acknowledge receipt of HIRSCH LAW GROUP’s Policy Statement on Billing Practice as attached to the RETAINER AGREEMENT. I fully understand the foregoing Agreement and agree to its terms and I agree with HIRSCH LAW GROUP’s Policy Statement on Billing Practices. A facsimile copy of this Retainer Agreement and any signatures affixed hereto shall be considered for all purposes as originals.
POLICY STATEMENT ON BILLING PRACTICES–
1. General Overview. This policy statement is issued in order to inform our clients of the billing practices of HIRSCH LAW GROUP (hereinafter the “Firm”). Its purpose is to inform our clients of matters which commonly arise in the context of the business relationship between the Firm and its clients. Inevitably, situations arise which are unanticipated. However, regardless of whether the situation is anticipated or unanticipated, in such event, a solution shall be found utilizing the principles set forth herein. If the terms of the policy statement differ from the engagement letter, then the terms of the engagement letter shall supersede any inconsistent terms herein.
2. Initial Conferences. The fee for an initial conference will be set in advance of the conference. If the Firm undertakes an engagement for the client, the conference charges will be billed as a part of the initial statement in the matter. If no engagement is undertaken, the initial conference charge is payable at the conclusion of the initial conference. Different arrangements may be made, at the discretion of the Firm.
3. Retainer Agreement and Fee. Representation is generally undertaken by virtue of a written engagement letter executed by and between the Firm and the client which acknowledges this policy statement as part of the engagement. In the case of corporate clients, the general practice of the Firm is to require the signature of a responsible individual on the engagement letter. The engagement letter governs the fee to be charged by the Firm and the duties to be performed. The engagement letter incorporates this policy statement by reference.
No work is undertaken without an initial retainer for fees and at the Firm’s option for costs. The Firm may ask for one retainer against which both fees and expenses will be applied, or ask for a fee retainer and an expense deposit against which fees and expenses may be applied. Unless the representation letter with the client provides otherwise, if either the retainer or expense deposit has not been fully utilized, any unpaid fees or expenses may be charged against the unused portion of the retainer or deposit. The amount of the retainer will vary in accordance with the matter undertaken. A fee retainer is earned when paid. However, the client is granted credit against the retainer on a periodic basis, based on the fee being charged.
The cost deposit, unlike the fee retainer, is not deemed earned when paid, however it may be incorporated into the fee retainer if the client does not replenish the fee retainer at the request of the Firm. It is deposited in the Firm’s trust account and drawn down as costs and, in some instances, as indicated above, as fees are incurred. The nature of these costs are discussed later in this policy statement. If the Firm has not requested a separate expense deposit, expenses will be charged against the fee retainer.
4. Firm Billing Practices.
A. Progress Billing. Minimum fees are generally calculated on an hourly rate basis. Paralegal services are also charged at an hourly rate, although lower than the attorney rate. These rates may be adjusted periodically as a function of the overall pricing policies of the Firm. Unless a matter is to be billed on a different basis, the fee portion of a bill will be calculated by multiplying the hourly rate then in effect for each attorney or paralegal times the number of hours (or portion thereof) worked by each attorney or paralegal. Statements are transmitted to clients not less often than monthly and payment is expected upon receipt. Charges outstanding over 30 days accrue interest at the rate of 15 percent per annum. All fees and expenses are payable by U.S. currency, drafts or checks payable in U.S. Currency.
B. Expenses. All clients are responsible for expenses incurred by the Firm in connection with the client’s business. These out-of-pocket expenses include, but are not limited to, computer file set up fees, administrative fees for extraordinary accounting services, extraordinary secretarial or word processing time, long distance telephone calls, cellular phone charges, copy expenses, parking costs, telex charges, corporate service charges to search firms, facsimile charges, associated counsel and expert fees, telegram charges, court reporter charges, witness fees, deposition transcripts, court transcripts, suit filing fees, process server fees, travel expenses including but not limited to mileage, food and lodging and all expenses. Some expenses include a firm surcharge.
C. Fee Policy. The Firm’s present Attorney or paralegal hourly time rates are based upon all factors which the Firm considers in the operation of its business. Our agreed hourly rate is $750. All attorney time in connection with a matter, is billed. All attorneys or paralegal time in connection with this engagement shall be billed, except for overtime. The Firm does not charge on an hourly basis for the services of its secretarial staff or its administrative staff.
D. Value Based Billing. In addition to the minimum hourly fee charged the client, at the termination of each matter, a “value factor” may be added and billed to the client. The value factor is based upon the following considerations: (i) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved and the skill requisite to performing the requested services; (ii) the intensity of the firm’s efforts; (iii) the extent to which the engagement precluded other employment; (iv) the amount involved in the matter; (v) the results obtained; (vi) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client.
E. Security for Fees and Expenses. The Firm reserves the right, in appropriate cases, to request security for fees and expenses in addition to the execution, by a responsible individual, of an engagement letter. Security for fees and expenses and the determination of what will constitute acceptable security, will be made by the Firm after consultation with the client.
In addition, State law provides attorneys with liens upon materials coming into their possession to secure the payment of their fees. This retaining lien, as well as appropriate charging liens, may be asserted by the Firm in appropriate circumstances.
F. Case set for Trial or Final Hearing. The Firm reserves the right to request and obtain an additional retainer to defray the fees once a matter has been set for Trial, Final Hearing or any other similar situation that involves immediate and substantial legal services or additional cost out of the ordinary, including but not limited to hiring associate counsel, expert fees, telegram charges, court reporter charges, witness fees, deposition transcripts, court transcripts, suit filing fees, process server fees, travel expenses including but not limited to mileage, food and lodging and all expenses. The Firm reserves the right to withdraw from the matter if client fails to provide the Firm with the additional retainer requested.
5. Contingent Fee Agreements. In some circumstances, the Firm may consider a contingent fee arrangement, in the Firm’s sole and absolute discretion. The Firm will comply with the New York Supreme Court requirements in all such cases and required disclosures shall be furnished.
Clients subject to a contingent fee arrangement are responsible for all expenses incurred in connection with their matters. The Firm reserves the right to charge and collect, upon the execution of an appropriate engagement agreement, an expense deposit to replenish expenses incurred or advanced by the Firm.
6. Mediation and Arbitration. Any disputes between the parties thereto, whether arising under this representation or otherwise, which the parties cannot resolve between themselves using good faith shall be:
A. Referred by either party to a mediator in the County of the principal office of the Firm and any Mediation shall be held in the County of the principal office of the Firm. The parties shall share equally in the cost of said Mediation, “Mediation” is a process in which the parties attempt to resolve a dispute by submitting it to an impartial mediator who facilitates the resolution of the dispute but who is not empowered to impose a settlement on the parties.
B. In the event that said dispute is not resolved in mediation, the parties shall submit the dispute to Arbitration in the County of the principal address of the Firm. “Arbitration” is a process in which the parties resolve a dispute by hearing before a three person panel who decide the matter and whose decision is binding on the parties. The Arbitration is to be conducted by three arbitrators, with each party selecting one arbitrator and these two arbitrators selecting the third arbitrator. If the two arbitrators fail to agree on the third arbitrator, then either party may petition the appropriate court in the county of the Firm to appoint the third arbitrator. The prevailing party shall recover all fees and costs of said arbitration. The parties further agree that full discovery shall be allowed to each party to the arbitration and a written award shall be entered forthwith. Any and all type to relief that would otherwise be available in Court shall be available to both parties in arbitration. The decision of the arbitrators shall be final and binding. Arbitration shall be the exclusive legal remedy of the parties.
C. If either party refuses to comply with a ruling or decision of the arbitrators and a lawsuit is brought to enforce said ruling or decision, it is agreed that the party not complying with the ruling or decision of the arbitrators shall pay the court costs and reasonable attorneys fees (including trial and appellate attorneys fees) incurred in enforcing the ruling or decision of the arbitrators.
D. Any rights or injunctive relief shall be in addition to and not in derogation or limitation of any other legal rights available to the Firm.
7. Payor Authorization & Acknowledgement. If the retainer amount is being paid by a person other than the Client, the Client acknowledges and consents to the payment of the retainer amount by said third party (hereinafter referred to as “Payor”). The Client agrees and acknowledges that the Payor may not interfere with the Firm’s independence of professional judgment or with the attorney-client relationship. Said payments by the Payor will not affect the Client’s rights or responsibilities as established by and through the engagement letter and acceptance of the Firm’s Policy Statements on Billing Practices. The Client affirms to the Firm that the Payor will comply with the terms of the Firm’s Policy Statements on Billing Practices.
8. Employment of Additional Professionals. If the Firm deems it necessary to employ additional professionals with specialized skills and, after consultation with the client, the client deems it appropriate to do so, additional professionals may be employed by the Firm. In such event, where appropriate, the Firm will employ such professionals in the name of the client. Notwithstanding the form of employment of the professional, however, the client is obligated to pay the fees of the professional in full, upon the rendering of a statement. The Firm reserves the right to request and obtain an additional retainer to defray the fees and expenses of additional professionals employed in connection with the engagement and or representation. All fees and expenses of additional professionals shall be subject to the security provisions, interest provisions and other applicable provisions of this Policy Statement on Billing Practices.
9. Withdrawal From Representation. Our engagement letter provides that the client must fully cooperate with the Firm in a number of respects, which includes timely payment of progress billings and any request for additional cost and/or fee retainer as stated in the policy statement. If we do not receive the full cooperation of the client or progress billings and any request for additional cost and/or fee retainer is not paid on a timely basis for this or any other matter in which the client has retained the Firm as counsel, the Firm reserves the right to withdraw from representing the client in this matter.
10. Full Disclosure. We encourage our clients to read and reread this Policy Statement from time to time, and to have a full and complete understanding of it prior to executing our engagement letter. The members of the Firm are available to answer any questions concerning it. It is our goal to serve our clients and avoid misunderstandings of any kind.
11. Modification. Any modification, changes or amendment to this engagement letter, billing statement and or policy statement shall be in writing and signed by both the Firm and the client.
12. Notice. It is the client’s responsibility at all times to keep the Firm apprised of his/her or its current address, telephone number and any and facsimile number. Any notice, demand or other communication required or permitted by this engagement letter, billing statement and/or policy statement must be in writing.
13. Disposition of Files. We destroy each client’s legal files seven (7) years after the closing of such files, unless the client otherwise directs. If you desire us to retain your files for a longer period, please so advise.