What is the legal value of the written retainer?

British Columbia, Canada

The following excerpt is from Cox Taylor v. Cochrane, 2007 BCSC 432 (CanLII):

The absence of any letter or agreement confirming the terms of the retainer makes the determination difficult. It has been said that lawyers who undertake legal business without written retainer letters proceed at their peril: MacGill v. Chin Yow You, supra, p. 242.

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