This is Part I of a three part series on commercial contingency fee cases.
I have had clients come to me with stories about how they have suffered massive damages but cannot afford to pay an attorney to pursue the case. It happens all too often.
For example, when a business is losing money or has a catastrophic loss, there is not often extra money available to pay an attorney to investigate your potential claims. Attorneys are expensive and most often want a hefty retainer up front.
Yet, you potentially have a great case! Someone embezzled, defrauded you, or breached duties they owed to you.
Sometimes, you just know that that someone did something wrong that caused you financial harm– you just don’t know how or what the legal claim is. Attorneys do and paying for it is the problem.
If you find yourself in this situation or the risk of litigation is more than you are willing to bear, there are attorneys willing to take your case on a ‘contingency fee’ basis. This first installment on contingency fees evaluates the reasons why a contingency fee arrangement might be right for you personally or your business.
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A CONTINGENCY FEE ARRANGEMENT
A ‘contingency fee’ agreement is where your attorney gets paid out of the successful outcome of the case or not at all. The out-of-pocket costs of the litigation are often fronted by the law firm but may be negotiated between the parties. Except in the personal injury arena, most contingency fee agreements are unique and depend on the facts of each case.
Where appropriate, there are good reasons to engage attorneys on a contingency fee basis:
You can pursue claims against the big guys.
Not every business or individual can afford to pay attorneys by the hour. That’s generally how attorneys get paid. Rich opponents can mire your case in court for years with discovery and motions knowing that you will cave once the fees get too high. A contingency fee arrangement allows you to share the costs and risks of litigation with your attorneys and have the case resolved on its merits– not on who has more money.
Your attorney shares your burden.
A contingency fee arrangement aligns your interest and your attorney’s interest. Your interest is in a successful outcome while avoiding spending more money on a potentially losing claim. Your attorney is interested in a successful outcome in order to get paid. Your attorney will be finely tuned to the successful outcome of the case and not just billing hours. You can expect that an attorney will evaluate your claim on a deep level since s/he will be investing in its successful result. When an attorney is paid by the hour, the outcome is important but the method and efficiency of reaching it sometimes gets out of focus. In the right hands, a contingency fee arrangement fosters efficiency and ultimate mutual success.
You control your costs and risk.
Your core capability is not the law. You have a business to run and a life to live. A contingency fee arrangement allows you to use your money to keep your business running and to focus on your core capabilities. An attorney becomes your partner for the purpose of recovering your losses using his/her core capabilities in the law.
In Part II of this series, I let you know how an attorney evaluates your claim.
For more information about your potential contingency fee case or a free consultation, contact Utah attorney Ken Reich directly. Mr. Reich routinely represents both companies and individuals in business matters and disputes involving a contingency fee arrangement. Using his many years of experience and backed by a firm of legal specialists in nearly every legal field, Mr. Reich can help you evaluate your claim and help you make smart decisions about your business and your life that will best fit your circumstances.