Contingency & Other Fee Types

Types of Fees

A contingency fee is a type of attorney-fee arrangement where attorney fees are only paid if you win or settle your matter, in which case a percentage of the award is paid to the attorney.  I have seen contingency fees ranging from 10% to 50%; the most common range for lawsuits is about 33.3% to 40%.

A flat fee is a type of attorney fee where a fixed (certain) amount is charged for the legal services at issue.

An hourly fee is charged by the hour, and rates commonly range between $150/hour to $500 or more per hour.  Hourly legal fees have a total value that is uncertain.  For example, if an attorney charges $300/hour, the total amount of legal fees will depend on the number of hours of work that are ultimately done (e.g. $3,000 for 10 hours of work, $4,500 for 15 hours, etc.).

Hybrid fees involve a mix of fee types.  For example, an attorney whose standard contingency rate is 33.33% and standard hourly rate is $250 per hour may decide to offer a hybrid fee for a given case with a contingency fee at 20% and an hourly fee at $100 per hour. Hybrid fees can allow for sharing of risk and reduction of expense as compared to other fee options.

Contingency Fees, Other Fees, by Attorney-Blog Author Michael Brown & DVG Law Partner

For some cases, I (blog author/attorney Michael Brown of DVG Law Partner) agree to represent clients on a contingency basis, most commonly at a 33.33% rate.  Whether I offer this as an option is something I discuss with someone after their initial communications with me.

For other cases, I represent clients on hybrid arrangements that involve a reduced contingency and some level of out-of-pocket payments by the clients (e.g. for hourly fees at a reduced rate).  The out-of-pocket rates are significantly less than market value rates, however, and the hybrid arrangement can be a good way to reduce the client’s risk and costs.

The least common arrangement for me is an hourly fee.  Some clients decide an hourly fee is in their best financial interest (as compared to giving up a contingency percentage fee, etc.).  For others– such as those defending a claim (e.g. sued for competition-related issues)– an hourly fee may be the only feasible arrangement (e.g. if there is no money to win in successfully defending a non-compete suit, there are no winnings from which a contingency fee can be paid).

Contact Us About Your Matter, Potential Fees

If you are interested in discussing your matter or potential fees with me, attorney-author Michael Brown of DVG Law Partner, please know there is no charge for an initial evaluation from me.  I never charge any fee that has not been discussed and agreed in advance.  To contact me and learn more, please click here:


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