Contingent Fee Agreements

What is a Contingent Fee Agreement?

A contingent fee agreement is an agreement between a lawyer and any person which provides for remuneration for legal services contingent, in whole or in part, on the successful disposition of the matter in respect of which the services are provided.  The contingent fee agreement must be in writing, and must be in Form 1, unless it is approved by a reviewing officer and is not inconsistent with any of the provisions of section 83 of the Law Society Act, 1996. (see sections 82 and 83 of the Law Society Act,1996 and the Contingent Fee Rules Under Section 83 of the Law Society Act, 1996.
 
Although a contingent fee agreement can be structured to allow for your fee to be based on a portion of the amount recovered, or to base your fee on a portion of an amount awarded as costs to a proceeding or settlement, it is not permissible to receive a fee based on both a portion of the amount recovered and a portion of the amount awarded as costs (Law Society Act, 1996, subsection 83(6)).
 
At the time the contingent agreement is entered into, you must ensure the agreement is fair, and that the amount of remuneration you are seeking for your services is reasonable.