In the field of law, contingency retainer agreements are a common way for attorneys to provide their services to clients who may not have the financial means to pay for legal services upfront. It is a type of retainer agreement where the attorney agrees to work on a case without payment until the case is resolved, and if there is a favorable settlement or outcome, the attorney receives a percentage of the settlement or award for their fees.
In the state of New York, contingency retainer agreements are a popular way for clients to hire attorneys for a variety of cases, including personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death. These agreements are governed by New York rules of professional conduct for attorneys, which require attorneys to inform clients about the likelihood of success and the amount of attorney fees that will be deducted from any settlement or award.
The purpose of contingency retainer agreements is to provide access to legal representation for those who cannot afford it. In many personal injury cases, for example, the financial burden of medical bills and lost wages can be overwhelming, making it difficult for the injured party to pursue legal action. Contingency agreements allow these individuals to obtain legal representation without adding to their financial stress.
Under New York law, contingency agreements must be in writing and clearly state the percentage of attorney fees that will be deducted from any settlement or award. The agreement must also state the expenses the client will be responsible for, such as court fees and expert witness fees. Additionally, the agreement must be signed by both the attorney and the client.
It is important to note that while contingency agreements can be advantageous, they may also result in higher attorney fees than if the client had paid upfront. It is important for clients to discuss all options with their attorney and weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of a contingency agreement before entering into one.
In conclusion, contingency retainer agreements are a common and important tool for clients in New York who may not have the financial means to pay for legal services upfront. They allow individuals to obtain legal representation without adding to their financial stress. However, clients should carefully consider the terms of the agreement and discuss all options with their attorney before entering into a contingency agreement.