A limited scope retainer is a contract for unbundled legal services. It spells out the specific legal services for which the client is retaining a lawyer to complete. The lawyer may charge the client on a block fee or hourly basis. The Retainer Agreement is tailored to meet the legal needs of each client and is typically completed over a short period of time. Once all tasks in the retainer are completed, the client is required to enter into a new limited scope retainer for further work on the file. You may think of a limited scope retainer as placing an order at an a la carte restaurant.
A limited scope retainer may not be appropriate where an opposing party is exceptionally adversarial and legal issues are complex. In such cases, a client’s interests may be best served by retaining a lawyer for full legal representation. Additionally, clients who do no have adequate time or capacity to represent themselves should consider a general retainer.
To summarize a limited scope basis is when a law firm will help you draft court documents for your file but you will be responsible to represent yourself at the Court of Queen’s Bench.