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SEC Whistleblower Lawyer Blog

How Attorney Contingency Fees Work for Whistleblowers

Litigating a case can take a long time and accrues many costs and fees.  Among those fees include filing costs, the cost of hiring an expert to testify, the cost of various office tasks such as printing and mailing, and many others.  But the first cost that immediately comes to most people’s minds is attorney’s fees.

Often times, the costs of paying an attorney might dissuade people from getting one in the first place or bowing to financial pressure in the midst of case simply because the client does not have enough money to continue paying an attorney.  Paying thousands of dollars to an attorney without having absolute certainty a client will win his or her case can be a daunting endeavor.

The contingency fee presents a solution to all those upfront costs.

While an attorney can never guarantee a victory, the contingency fee allows a client who may not have the resources to pay the costs and fees associated with litigating a case throughout to pay them at the end from his or her direct recovery.  Here’s how it works.

An attorney who takes on a case with a contingency fee arrangement agrees to accept a fixed percentage of the client’s recovery.  Throughout the litigation process, the attorney fronts all the costs.  If the attorney wins the case and recovers money for the client, the attorney will take a cut of that as well as subtract the litigation costs.  If the attorney loses or the win is uncollectable, the client pays nothing.

Here is an example.  We take on your case.  We front all the costs leading up to the trial including filing fees and other miscellaneous fees totaling $10,000.  You’ve lost $250,000 but decide five months into the litigation that you would like to settle for $150,000.  The attorney will take a percentage of that award and an additional $10,000 for fees and costs.

In the alternative, if you decide not to settle, go to trial, and the case was lost, you would owe the law firm zero dollars.

By law, we have to tell you how the fee is earned and must get your consent in writing.  In a sense, we become your business partners, vigorously fighting for your rights because if we lose, we don’t get paid.

Whistleblower actions work the same way.  We will front all of the costs of the process and do all the work.  If the whistleblower complaint is not successful, we get nothing.  If we recover a whistleblower award, we would get our contingency fee – a percentage of that award.

In addition to this favorable fee arrangement in which the client pays nothing unless there is a recovery, we are proficient in the area of whistleblower claims.

Scott L. Silver, managing partner of the Silver Law Group, was an early proponent of the legislation and authored a primer on the SEC Whistleblower Program.  Our legal team includes former defense attorneys and government prosecutors now working to protect whistleblowers.

Silver Law Group is committed to the protection of whistleblowers through the whistleblower claim process and can prosecute your whistleblower claims.  If you have questions about your legal rights as a whistleblower, please contact Scott Silver of the Silver Law Group for a free consultation at or toll free at (800) 975-4345.

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