Contingency Fee as Part of the Fee Agreement

Posted on Friday, June 11th, 2021 at 2:44 pm    

When you hire a lawyer to represent you, it is important to have a clear written fee agreement. This agreement should spell out the cost of the legal representation, other expenses and cost of work to be done. This article will discuss aspects that should be found in a lawyer’s fee agreement – contingency fee.

Most of the disputes that exist between lawyers and clients are over money. Specifically, it is over how much money the client owes the lawyer. In order to avoid these problems states require that there be written fee agreements between lawyer and client. Whether it is a requirement or not in your state you should get a written record. This should show what you have agreed to pay the lawyer to clarify the agreement.

Elements that must be present in a fee agreement include the following:

  • Fees
  • Litigation costs
  • Other issues


Fees are generally structured in three ways; the client either pays:

  1. By the hour
  2. A flat fee
  3. A percentage of whatever they win in a lawsuit or settlement to the lawyer (contingency fees)

Contingency Fees

In specific cases lawyers take a percentage of the amount that has been won as a fee. If you win a large amount, then the lawyer’s fee is large as well. However, if you lose the case then the lawyer does not get a fee. This manner of getting fees makes for lawyers to be persistent in their representation of their clients. This is because your loss is their loss. This arrangement is generally referred to as “no-win-no-fee”; and is common in personal injury cases.

The agreement in contingency fees is that the lawyer helps you settle your claim or file a lawsuit. This is in return for a portion of a successful outcome. If you are paying a contingency fee, the agreement should state what percentage of any award the lawyer will take. Most contingency fee agreements give the lawyer between 33% to 40% of any settlement or award. The agreement should also specify how the lawyer will collect the money. In addition, it must state if the lawyer is entitled to payment if you fire them before the case ends.



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