Lawyer Retainer Agreement, Contingency

____________, 20__






Attention: _________________


Dear __________:


We retain your law offices to represent us in regard to a claim against _____________________, related to ______________________.


Your fee shall be contingent on collection from the responsible parties, and shall be as follows:


_____ per cent for recovery before suit

_____ per cent for recovery after suit is instituted

_____ per cent for recovery if an appeal is required


Out of pocket costs reasonably expended and with prior approval of us will be deducted from settlement.


If not funds are collected, then we are not responsible for any costs, including your firm’s out of pocket expenses.


If this arrangement is acceptable, please sign and return a copy of this letter to us.



Best regards,







Accepted: _________________________________

Law Firm


Enc.  Extra Copy for Signature and Return


Lawyer Retainer Agreement, Contingency

Review List

This review list is provided to inform you about this document in question and assist you in its preparation.  Contingency law suits benefit both the plaintiff, by only having them pay if they win, and lawyers, by giving them a big potential payday should they win.  If you are the Plaintiff, you should negotiate hard to get the lowest percentages from the lawyer.  Instead of just shopping around for who you like, consider shopping also for the best deal, as you would for any other purchase.


  1. Make multiple copies.  Have the Lawyer sign one and return it.  If you are the lawyer, have the client sign one and return it.
  2. You may have to negotiate on out of pocket expenses.  If so, shop for the best deal and act according to your best judgment with regard to keeping this clause or providing some payment of these expenses.
  3. Lawyers should think seriously about using this short form agreement so as not to intimidate a potential client.  It lacks a lot of the brutality seen in many agreements but it accomplishes most of the same ends.  Its reasonableness will also help you retain the good will of the client, always a good thing.


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