Call Us
647-821-4384
Retainer Agreement & Its Importance
Published by admin August 3, 2020

Retainer agreement is contract between a client & the professional service provider which in this case is an Immigration Consultant. The quick understanding about retainer agreement is that a client hires an Immigration Consultant to provide certain services, well mentioned in the retainer agreement.

blog-post-img-full

Retainer agreement is contract between a client & the professional service provider which in this case is an Immigration Consultant. The quick understanding about retainer agreement is that a client hires an Immigration Consultant to provide certain services, well mentioned in the retainer agreement. Another important thing about retainer agreement is that client pays upfront for the services agreed upon, by both parties (the Client and Immigration Consultant) mentioned in the agreement. In exchange, that professional agrees to make him available to that client for a certain number of hours within a predetermined timeframe. Retainer agreement not only protects clients from any fraud but also protects RCIC in case of any misrepresentation of facts or documents.

In Canada, ICCRC (The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council) is the National Regulatory Body for the Immigration Consultants. ICCRC promotes & protects the public interest by overseeing regulated immigration and citizenship consultants and international student advisors. ICCRC maintains good ethical practices of immigration consultants. Guidelines for retainer agreement are laid down by ICCRC.

What a retainer agreement includes?

Fee of the consultant;

  1. Payment details of the charge, e.g. photocopying, mailing, faxing, and other expenses.
  2. Disbursements; for example, details of different type of fees such as IRCC fee, etc.
  3. What would happen to the retainer fee if client or the consultant terminates the contract?
  4. Beside this, there could be other terms & conditions which would be mentioned as per the client’s service requirements.

Usually, a consultant will require a new client to sign a retainer agreement he will act for the client. It is considered best practice to have a contract between both parties.

Paying the fee at one time or in installments would depend on many factors, such as, how much work needs to be done on a file, how long would it take, and how intricate the matter is. One should consider confirming the terms of the agreement with the consultant in writing in order to avoid any misunderstanding between you and the consultant. Important terms of the agreement may be confirmed by the way retainer agreement is implemented. The content of the retainer agreement will vary depending on the client and the nature of the case.

Scope of Services;

  1. The client’s goals and the specific services that the client will receive from the consultant
  2. The key steps in the matter and the immigration consultant’s representation of the client
  3. Any actions or further steps to be taken by the consultant (e.g. information or documents to be provided) etc.

Fees & Disbursements; 

  1. The amount and payment date of any initial money retainer or ongoing monetary retainers
  2. Whether the client will be charged an hourly rate or a flat fee, or by another method 
  3. An estimate of the fees or disbursements that the client will likely incur and any assumptions upon which the estimate is based on whether the client is responsible for paying disbursements directly or if the consultant will pay them and later bill the client
  4. Consequences of the client’s failure to pay balances in accordance with the terms of the consultant’s commitment

Communications with the Client;

  1. Manner of communication between consultant and client (e.g. telephone, email, mail, fax)
  2. How the consultant will keep the client apprised of the matter on an ongoing basis (e.g. sending the client copies of correspondence, documents relating to the matter, memos to file; telephone calls; meetings)
  3. How the client will keep the consultant explain of the matter on an ongoing basis
  4. Frequency of reporting to the client

Withdrawal from Representation;

  1. Detail of circumstances where the consultant may withdraw from representation (e.g. client’s failure to pay retainers or accounts in agreement with the retainer agreement, any other circumstances
  2. Consequences if the consultant cannot obtain adequate instructions from the client to complete the tasks for which the consultant was retained
  3. And other terms well mentioned in the agreement

The above mentioned are general guidelines for a retainer agreement. Retainer agreement could be client specific & work specific. It is suggested to have a retainer agreement formed in a well understood & well drafted manner by both the client and consultant. Signing the retainer confirms that the terms, as mentioned in the retainer agreement, are well understood and accepted by the client & he agrees to its terms and conditions.

To know more how this agreement works, please contact Nayyar Immigration Services in Brampton, ON