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Agreed to Contingent fee agreement - now changed Fee bc of Counterclaim filed.

Wheaton, IL |

My attorney agreed to represent me on a contingent fee basis in a lawsuit i filed against someone for slander and misrepresentation. However, the Defendant just filed a counter-claim based on something entirely different (contract). My attorney is now asking me to also pay him a hourly fee based on defending the counter-claim. Is this normal?

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Attorney answers 3


Yes, contract defense work is usually done hourly, whereas your plaintiff case can be done on a contingency.


Yes, this is perfectly normal and acceptable. While your original agreement was for one form of case to be paid on a contingency basis, new factors have arisen - i.e., the contract counterclaim - for which a contingency fee arrangement is not possible. You and your attorney should renegotiate your engagement agreement. Cancel


You ask if your Attorney can charge on an hourly basis when a counter-claim is filed in the lawsuit in which the Attorney agreed to represent you on a contingency basis. The answer comes in 2 parts: all contingency fee agreements must be in writing, and the writing controls the scope of what is covered by the contingency fee. It is entirely possible your agreement contemplates both kinds of charges. If you forward a copy of the agreement I would be happy to give you an opinion.