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A Retainer Agreement is a contract wherein a client retains the services of a service provider or independent contractor who renders the services in exchange for a retainer fee. The retainer fee is an advance payment of professional fee for the provision of services required by the client.
This document is similar to a Service Agreement, however, the factor distinguishing the Service Agreement from the Retainer Agreement is that a service provider in a Retainer Agreement receives an advance payment (i.e retainer fee) for the services to be rendered over a specified period of time.
For example, Mr. A intends to contract Mr. B, a legal practitioner, on a retainer basis to manage Mr. A's properties. Mr. A is required to pay Mr. B an amount, called a retainer fee, in advance in contemplation of the services Mr. B will render to Mr. A. While in a service contract, Mr. B will usually be entitled to his payment after the services have been rendered.
One obvious benefit of a Retainer Agreement is that, on the service provider's perspective, the retainer provides a guaranteed income and saves the time the service provider would normally use to source for other paid jobs. Another benefit is that it gives the client assurance that the service provider will work for them for the period agreed by the parties and neither of the parties can terminate the contract until after the expiration of the term of the retainer.
The document simply requires the names and addresses of the parties to the agreement, the duration or term of the retainer, the services to be rendered, duties and obligations of the party providing the service, the retainer fee and terms of payment and includes confidentiality provisions.
How to use this document
After filling this form, the two parties should sign two copies of this document and keep at least one copy each for record purposes.
If either of the parties is a company, the common seal of the company should be affixed on the document and two directors or one director and one company secretary should sign the document on behalf of the company.
If either of the parties is any other organization other than a company, the document should be signed by a party who is authorized to sign documents of this nature. This party should also be an officer of the organization, such as a general manager, managing partner, partner, etc.
There is no Nigerian law regulating this agreement. However, the general rules and practice of the profession being retained and the general rules of contract are applicable to this document.
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