Client’s Guide

Fees & Billing

Most matters handled by Kirby & McGuinn are billed by hours actually spent by professionals providing service to clients.

RETAINERS

In matters billed by the hour to non-institutional clients, we require an advance retainer. A retainer is an advance deposit which is held in trust as security for fees. This deposit is drawn upon to pay current bills and replenished by the client, to maintain it at an agreed-upon level.

EXPENSES

In addition to fees, clients are billed for expenses. Both out of pocket expenses (such as filing fees, process servers and court reporters) and internal costs (such as photocopying) are billed to the client at rates which represent, to the best of our ability, the actual cost incurred by the Firm.

CONTINGENT FEES

A contingent fee is one which is computed as a percentage share of the recovery in a litigation matter.  Contingent fee arrangements are common in plaintiffs’ personal injury matters, which our firm does not accept.

Our standard contingent fee for the collection of undisputed claims not reduced to judgment is: 15% of the recovery if suit is not filed and 25% of the recovery after suit is filed.

Our standard contingent fee for the collection of claims reduced to judgment is 20% of the recovery on California or federal court judgments and 25% of the recovery on sister state judgments.

The terms of a lawyer’s engagement are not 
set by law, and are in some aspects negotiable.
You may review a standard form contingent fee 
agreement for collection here.

RETAINER AGREEMENTS

Business & Professions Code sections 6147 and 6148 require that attorneys enter into written fee agreements with their clients. Many exceptions apply. For example, no written agreement is required if the client is a corporation, or if the attorney is providing services to an existing client of the same general kind as previously rendered to and paid for by that client.

The terms of a lawyer’s engagement are not set by law and
 are in some aspects negotiable. You may review a standard 
form hourly retainer agreement here.