A fee that the client pays upfront to an attorney before the attorney has begun work for the client.
There are three types of retainers, each with a different purpose:
(1) A general retainer, which is a fee for a specific period of time rather than for a specific project. While no specific representation is contemplated, the client pays for the attorney’s availability during the time specified.
(2) Also termed a retaining fee, a deposit or lump sum fee which the client pays in advance.