“Non-refundable” could once be in the lexicon of the usual legal business practices. Some older secondary authorities, such as ISBA Professional Conduct Advisory Opinions, seem to be aware of this. But, looking at it carefully, it is clear that a non-refundable advance fee is ineffective and can only contribute to disciplinary problems for a reckless lawyer. When a client dismisses his lawyer, any fee agreement, including a non-refundable advance provision, expires and is no longer effective. RPC 1.16 (d); Z.B. in re Smith, 168 Ill.2d 269, 293 (1995) (“After dismissal, a lawyer is not entitled to the full amount of costs agreed between counsel and client. Instead, counsel is only entitled to quantum-meruit compensation for legal services actually provided by counsel on behalf of the client. Finally, all royalties are assessed for adequacy and the assertion that a levy is not refundable does not justify maintaining an otherwise inappropriate levy. RPC 1.5 (a), comment ; ARDC Client Trust Account Handbook, 19, rev. May 2015; In the Matter of G.S., 03-SH-115 (Review Board, April 9, 2007) Requests by the Administrator and respondent not to submit denied waivers, m.R. 21655 (September 18, 2007) ($10,000 Inappropriate cash for three hours of work that did not influence the Crown`s unilateral decision to drop the client`s charges). Aren`t non-refundable advance provisions unnecessary? Maybe not. Someone who tells a client that any portion earned in a prepayment is not refundable could allow a lawyer to protect himself from a client who, after being successfully represented, says, “I want a refund.” After all, lawyers do not work for nothing, and the CPP argues that lawyers are entitled to the compensation they deserve. At least such a provision could be used to defeat the assertions of the clients they thought they would recover at the end of the performance.
A non-refundable advance tax is not only ineffective, but could also be a disciplinary trap. When a lawyer asks a client to request a refund, the lawyer may be tempted to rely on a non-refundable provision to avoid the return of the tax (or part of it). As a result, the disgruntled client will likely contact the disciplinary authorities. In view of the above authorities, the justification for refusing to return a royalty in whole or in part to a non-refundable royalty system is an increase. The legal world has its own terrible spectrum, which not only happens at night, but can also put a disciplinary bump in your firm – non-refundable advance fees. The only charm to repel this malevolent appearance is knowledge of Illinois` rules of professional conduct (“PRC”) and a good dose of common sense. No down payment is refundable. The prohibition of such royalties is reflected in a number of RPCs and even in certain statutes (such as the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, 750 ILCS 5/508 (f)).