To represent him in Fulton County, former president Donald Trump has hired Atlanta-based criminal defence lawyer Drew Findling, who calls himself the Billion Dollar Lawyer – hence the likelihood his services cost a pretty penny.
Findling is the founding partner of The Findling Law Firm. He has previously represented hip-hop bigwigs Gucci Mane and Migos.
When you hire a lawyer on an hourly rate, you may also have to pay a retainer fee. This alone can make legal representation unaffordable for many.
While Findling is under no obligation to publish his fee structure up front, there’s plenty of information out there regarding the average hourly rates, net worths and retainer fees of Drew’s peers in the field. Here’s what we can piece together.
Hiring Drew Findling will likely cost you a pretty penny
Findling’s previous clients include Cardi B (real name Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar); Gucci Mane (Radric Delantic Davis); Migos (Quavo, Takeoff and Offset, aka Quavious Keyate Marshall, Kirshnik Khari Ball and Kiari Kendrell Cephus respectively); Waka Flocka Flame (Juaquin James Malphurs); and NBA star Shaquille O’Neal.
He’s the former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and has been licensed for 38 years. He announced via Instagram on June 26 he would commit his law firm to “fighting to restore a woman’s right to choose, which has been destroyed by the Supreme Court.” He is offering his company’s services free to women charged under Georgia’s anti-abortion law.
Normally, however, according to LegalMatch, criminal defence lawyers’ hourly rates typically fall somewhere between $150 and $700. And, it adds, hourly fee structures can quickly run up bills in excess of $10,000.
But there are often retainer fees, too. Retainer fees vary hugely depending on the criminal charge. For example, HG Legal Resources writes that for “assault and/or battery charges,” retainers for defence “range from $5,000 to $100,000.” Other sites cite figures of $3,500, $8,000 and “between $2,500 and $10,000.”
It’s worth clarifying the charge against Trump is not assault or battery. More on this below.
He calls himself the Billion Dollar Lawyer
In February 2018, The New York Times ran a story on Atlanta’s #BillionDollarLawyer. It wrote he was “looking out for your favorite rappers.”
The newspaper called him a “58-year-old cool dad” and noted his “taste for gingham blazers.”
He had apparently developed a reputation as a “witch doctor,” a “magician,” and a “god in the streets.”
Findling is an “indispensable, behind-the-scenes fixture in the world of Atlanta rap,” and has successfully represented Migos, Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame in court. Offset has called him “the biggest lawyer in the game.” The Times notes his strong legal track record and connections to high-profile individuals.
Possible indicator of the price Donald Trump is paying for services of Drew Findling
Business Insider observes Findling has “shown little love for Trump” in the past.
On Twitter, he’s described the former POTUS as “racist, cruel, sick, unforgivable and un-American.” He’s also called him the “racist architect of fraudulent Trump University” and criticised him for firing former SDNY attorney Preet Bharara.
However, assuaging any doubts his political opinions might inform his legal judgements, Findling told the outlet: “I am a passionate advocate against injustice and will not deny that. However, where I see a misuse and abuse of power I feel compelled to act.
“I may differ politically from many of my clients but that doesn’t change my commitment to defend against wrongful investigations.”
What exactly is he representing Trump for?
Trump has hired Drew Findling – on a retainer, Spokane’s Spokesman-Review notes – to represent him in the criminal investigation by the Fulton County special purpose grand jury examining what happened in Georgia after the 2020 presidential election.
“Drew is a spectacular attorney and the former president could not have chosen better,” the outlet quotes Atlanta criminal defense attorney Bruce Morris as saying.
Fulton County DA Fani Willis has said the impetus behind the investigation was Trump’s phone call to secretary of state Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, the Spokesman adds. The central claim is Trump asked Raffensperger to “find” him 11,780 votes.
Trump has said he did nothing wrong and has described the conversation he had with Raffensperger as a “perfect phone call.”