Negotiating Your Contingency Fee

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Negotiating Your Contingency Fee

Attorneys’ fees can be quite expensive. However, many people do not realize that it is often possible to negotiate a lower legal fee. This is especially true with contingency fees, in which your lawyer takes a percentage of your award instead of charging you an hourly rate.

How Can I Avoid Paying a High Contingency Fee?

If your case is strong or has the possibility of a significant award, you are likely to be in a good position to lower the fee if you are willing to shop around and negotiate. Contingency fees often appear to be more than an hourly rate because they are designed to cover the risk the lawyer is taking, since they do not collect if you lose the case. However, this risk is minimized if you are likely to win your case, and the more the risk is minimized, the lower the contingency fee percentage will be.

Also, many attorneys are willing to offer helpful solutions regarding their contingency fee. Alternatively, an attorney may agree to vary their fee based on the amount of the award. For example, an attorney might take 33% of the first $100,000, 25% of the next $100,000, and 15% of anything above that amount.

Attorneys may also be willing to offer a variable fee based on the time spent on the case. An example of this is where the lawyer would charge a 25% fee if the case settles before trial, a 33% fee if the case goes to trial, or a 40% fee if the case goes through appeals.

Hiring a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer can be an intimidating experience. However, it is important to remember that you are employing someone to provide a service for you. As you would with any other service, it is essential that you understand what costs you will be responsible for, and it is certainly worth your while to see if those costs are flexible.

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Last Modified: 01-16-2014 03:51 PM PST

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