The Perks and Perils of Contingency Fee Agreements

Contingency fee agreements are those that make legal fees payable to a lawyer if and when the case is successful. They are most prevalent in claims for damages.

According to the Law Society of BC: contingency fee agreements must be in writing. Contingency fees are not permitted in family law cases involving child custody or access. They are permitted in other types of family law cases, but must be approved by the court. In a claim for personal injury or wrongful death arising out of a motor vehicle accident, the maximum contingency fee allowed is one-third of the amount recovered. In all other cases involving personal injury or wrongful death, the maximum allowed is 40% of the amount recovered. There are no maximum limits for contingency fees in cases not involving personal injury or wrongful death. Lawyers often vary their contingency fee rates depending on the amount of the claim, the degree of risk involved and the stage at which the case is resolved. – See more at:

Check out the BC Court of Appeal’s decision in Mide-Wilson v. Hungerford Tomyn Lawrenson and Nichols, 2013 BCCA 559 ( where a law firm was awarded a fee of 5 million dollars for its contingency fee agreement with its client. The case provides an analysis of the potential benefits and pitfalls of these types of agreements

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