These summaries were prepared by McGuireWoods LLP lawyer Thomas E. Spahn. They are based on the letter opinions issued by the Virginia State Bar. Any editorial comments reflect Mr. Spahn's current personal views, and not the opinions of the Virginia State Bar, McGuireWoods or its clients. 
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8-Bills and Fees

40-Trust Accounts

Lawyers acquiring security interests in client property to secure the payment of fees must comply with the rules governing business transactions with clients (although fee agreements themselves generally do not require such compliance). Lawyers executing on the security may only obtain a reasonable fee. Lawyers taking possession of property under such an arrangement must comply with trust account procedures. Lawyers may not retain collateral "exceeding the reasonable fee plus the reasonable costs of preserving and realizing on the security," despite any state law allowing the exercise of greater rights.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn