Frequently Asked Questions About Attorney Paymaster Services

What is an Attorney Paymaster?

When dealing with multi-million and multi-billion dollar commission payments, experienced parties place their funds with a neutral third-party to ensure that the commissions are safely and securely distributed.

The attorney paymaster serves as the independent third party to receive the incoming commissions into an Attorney Trust Account and then quickly disburse the funds according to the exact terms of the fee agreement.

By using the services of an attorney paymaster, you'll never need to worry about the integrity of the payment process or whether or not the funds will be disbursed.  The attorney paymaster serves as a escrow agent to guarantee the fast and secure delivery of your funds.

How do I know I am going to receive my payment when my deal closes?

All parties to the transaction complete an Irrevocable Sub-Fee Protection Guarantee Agreement which outlines exactly how much each party will receive as commission and how this will be paid.  The attorney paymaster distributes your funds in exact accordance with the percentages outlined in the Sub-Fee Agreement, so there won't be any disputes about who should be paid or how much they should be paid.

Your funds will be transferred via secure SWIFT bank-to-bank wire transfer.  You won't have to worry about fraudulent checks, lost money orders, or stolen cash.  Your funds are securely wired directly from our attorney trust account (or Euro account) to your banking coordinates.

How quickly will I receive my payment after my deal closes?

Since our practice is strictly limited to paymaster services, we always attempt to initiate your wire transfer the very same day that we receive your funds.  If your funds are received on a banking holiday or a weekend, we will wire your funds the very next business day. Our goal is to wire your funds to you as quickly as possible.

As with any large wire transfer, all transactions are subject to our banks' approval and verification of the origin of funds, which can occasionally cause a slight delay disbursing your funds.  To avoid or minimize these delays

Does the Attorney Paymaster know any particulars of a transaction, such as when it will close?

No, we do not. The Attorney Paymaster serves as a neutral third party, and therefore is not directly involved with the transaction.  We typically don't know any details about the underlying transactions.

May I learn the names of other parties involved in a transaction from the Attorney Paymaster? Will the Attorney Paymaster disclose my name to other parties?

Absolutely not.  All of our transactions are held in confidence, and under NO circumstances will we disclose any of the parties’ names or discuss any details of the contract.  If we're asked to verify that we are serving as the Attorney Paymaster for a transaction, we can confirm that we are listed as the paymaster, but we will never disclose any details of the transaction.

May I call the Attorney Paymaster’s bank to verify if my deal has closed?

No.  All trust fund transactions are intended to be confidential, so none of the bank employees are permitted to discuss any details of the transaction with you.

Why do I need to fill out IRS form W-9?  (W-8BEN for foreign entities)?

These forms are required of us for compliance purposes. Regardless of whether we are disbursing funds inside or outside the United States, we must report all monies received and disbursed through our trust account.  This is to ensure compliance with the Patriot Act and anti-money laundering statutes.

Does the Attorney Paymaster withhold taxes?

No, we don't withhold any taxes from your disbursement.  Although we must report the disbursement to the IRS for compliance purposes, you or your company will be solely responsible for paying any taxes that are due.

Can I have the Attorney Paymaster pay several people out of my commission?

Of course.  All that's required is for each individual or entity receiving funds to complete a Client Information Sheet so that the identity of each recipient may be verified.

Can the Attorney Paymaster accept or disburse funds via money orders, checks, bank checks (cheques), or cash?

No, we cannot.  For banking compliance purposes, we will only receive or disburse funds from our Attorney Trust Account via Federal Wire Transfers or SWIFT's.

How is an attorney paymaster different from a regular paymaster?

In the United States, there aren't any licensing requirements for becoming a paymaster.   That's why most parties prefer to use a licensed attorney as their paymaster.  Attorneys in the U.S. are required to hold any funds that do not belong directly to them in an Attorney Trust Account (also known as an IOLTA or IOTA account). There are added safety and security measures on an attorney trust account versus a regular business account.

The Florida Bar regulates all Florida lawyers, and one of the most heavily regulated aspects of the practice of law concerns client funds. They have adopted the following penalties for failing to preserve a client’s property:

  • 4.11. Disbarment is appropriate when a lawyer intentionally or knowingly converts client property regardless of injury or potential injury.

  • 4.12. Suspension is appropriate when a lawyer knows or should know that he is dealing improperly with client property and causes injury or potential injury to a client.

Florida Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions

In short, if a lawyer intentionally misuses a client’s funds, the Florida Bar will suspend or revoke the attorney’s license to practice law.  I have been practicing law for over 13 years, and have never violated a client’s trust nor been disciplined by the Florida Bar.  All Florida lawyers disciplinary records are available online at www.FloridaBar.org by clicking the “Find a Lawyer” link and then typing in the lawyers’s Bar number or their name.  To look up my Florida Bar listing, my Bar # is 120723.

Does the Paymaster also act as my attorney or legal counsel?

No.  We do not represent Paymaster clients as your legal counsel because this creates a conflict of interest.  Unlike other "jack of all trades" firms, the scope of our practice is strictly limited to providing paymaster services.

I am involved with a deal right now. How do I sign up for Paymaster services?

Simply email us directly (ClientServices@TheWilcoxFirm.com) and we will send you a sample Sub-Fee Agreement and the Client Information Sheet that must be filled out before we can disburse your funds.  All details of your transaction will be held in confidence.

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The Wilcox Law Firm, P.L.
340 Royal Poinciana Way · Suite 317-316 · Palm Beach · Florida · 33480