Occasionally, I provide a kind of service so frequently that I am able to set a flat fee that is fair to both me and to the client.  This is true for my service in organizing small corporations and limited liability companies.  For most other services, I have found that clients' individual needs and the complexity of their cases vary enough so that services are charged at my hourly rate.  I may require a deposit to cover all or most of the expected work.  This deposit will be placed in my attorney trust account. When I bill for the services I have performed, a few days will be allowed for my client to receive and review the bill before I pay myself from the trust account.

Sometimes a contingent fee is appropriate. These arrangements will apply in some litigation or near litigation settings where my client seeks to recover money damages from a defendant.  We agree in advance the percentage amount of the contingent fee and put it in writing.  I have also reached fee agreements with clients who are alleged to owe a debt to a creditor, where I am paid a percentage of the amount we achieve in reducing that debt. 

We need to be careful to distinguish my “fees” from what are called “costs” charged by others, usually in litigation.  These costs are things like filing fees, costs of depositions, expert witness charges, costs for obtaining documents, and the like, that I may initially advance for the client, but which ultimately must be reimbursed to me.