HomeFWJ TakeawayResourcesHow much are lawyers’ contingency fees?

Contingency fees are based on the percentage of any monies recovered which the lawyers on the case keeps as payment for their legal services.

The amount of a lawyer’s contingency fees depends on what is agreed, and can range from 10% to 50% (or even more than that in certain circumstances). The % is usually reflective of the complexity and/or resources required to manage the instruction.

The lawyer’s fees under a contingency fee (which in the UK is generally referred to as a damages based agreement is determined by the following factors:

  • the value of the claim/asset; and
  • the risk of non-recovery; and
  • the resources required to be employed (in terms of either the number of solicitors or the seniority of the solicitors required to be involved).

It is impossible to determine how much the fees are without proper consideration of your individual circumstances.

However, to justify the risk of entering into a damages based agreement, the solicitor will usually seek a percentage in excess of the sums they would otherwise estimate on a time cost basis, including all possible outcomes (including any interim applications or counterclaims in litigation proceedings).

The reason for this is that, once the damages based agreement is entered into, there is no escape for the solicitor.

  • as a solicitor’s only commodity to sell is his/her time, the provision of such time (a very valuable resource) has to allow for the recovery of the solicitors fees, and with a damages based agreement (where risk is much more prevalent) the price of such time must be above that estimated, to allow for the risk across your single instruction and the risk faced generally across such agreements.
  • accordingly, in exchange for not having to pay for a solicitor immediately, but instead agreeing a contingency fee where s/he is not paid until the end AND only if you are successful, then the price you should expect will almost certainly be more than you would conventionally pay for their work on a time cost basis.

At Francis Wilks & Jones we are extremely familiar with contingency fees and damages based agreements and will be able to explain the procedure and further requirements to enter into any such funding agreement, subject to assessment of the claim or proposal, and an appropriate risk assessment.


Please call any member of our commercial litigation team for your consultation now. Alternatively e mail us with your enquiry and we will call you back at a time convenient to you. We have the expert team able to find the right funding agreement for you.

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