Contingency Fees Law & Legal Definition


Contingency fees are an arrangement for payment for an attorney's services, in which the attorney is paid out of the recovery awarded to the client. Contingency fees are usually between a fourth and a third of the amount awarded. If the client doesn't recover, no fee is owed.

Contingent fees are commonly arranged in personal injury cases and may allow persons to hire a lawyer when they could otherwise not afford to pay hourly rates. In some states the percentage (or the maximum percentage) that a lawyer may charge by way of a contingency fee is set by law. Contingent fees are not allowed in criminal matters and rarely permitted in family law cases. They are also referred to as contingent fees.