Seeking legal assistance from a lawyer depends majorly on the type of case in hand. However, for an attorney to offer you their services, there are various other aspects to consider when compensating them. Such factors get set by a tribunal, statute or an individual lawyer.
Factors That Determine A Lawyer’s Compensation Fee
The following factors majorly determine how much a lawyer might charge for their service:
In most law firms lawyers are categorized depending on the number of years they have been in service. There are junior and senior members of whom their compensation rates differ depending on every individual’s experience. The most seasoned attorneys with ten year’s experience and above charge the highest considering that they successfully resolve most of their client’s cases.
The is 100% correlation between a lawyer’s popularity and their experience. Lawyers at the dawn of modest publicity charge the least while the most popular ensure successful resolution of their cases; thus charging highly.
• The difficulty of the case
The more complicated a situation gets, the more the time, money and expertise are needed to have it resolved and vise-versa.
Standard Payment Options
Standard payment options are available too but accepted by very few attorneys. The standard payment options are hourly rates, flat rates, contingency fee, retainers, statutory fee and consultation fee. They apply as explained below:
• An hourly rate gets paid per each hour spend on a case until its resolution. For instance, if a lawyer commits five hours per day with a rate of 50$ per hour that amounts to 250$ per day. An hour’s fraction can also be calculated to avoid possible disputes. In a law firm, the hourly rate will depend on whether the member serving you is a junior or a senior.
• A flat rate means there is an agreement upon which the client pays a particular amount before the attorney commences legally representing them. A flat fee application disregards the difficulty of the case; however, it is only applicable in practically simple cases such as wills and divorce cases.
• Some lawyers such as Personal Injury Attorneys also work by an emergency fee payment. The client has no option rather than paying the attorney unless the situation resolves successfully. The emergency fee is paid based on an agreement between the attorney and their client in which the lawyer receives a specified percentage of the recovery amount accorded to their client upon a case’s successful resolution. You can also call it a contingency fee.
• A retainer fee can mean different things depending on one’s situation. The lawyer who is legally representing you can best explain a retainer fee. However, from a broad perspective, it can mean a down payment to cater for any bills incurred before resolution. One can also pay a retainer fee to enable a lawyer to handle their case over a specified period. In most cases the retainer fee is deposited in an account from which it gets continuously debited as the cost of attendances accrues. The retainer fee is non-refundable unless it is judged illogical by a tribunal.
• A statutory fee is set and ratified by a tribunal or a statute. A regulatory fee is applicable in such proceedings as bankruptcy and probate.
• A consultation fee applies on a client’s first encounter with an attorney in which the client decides if the attorney can legally represent them. Some lawyers may not charge you for this.
Apparently, seeking legal representation requires insight in all the factors discussed above. Also, it is important to note that a lawyer’s compensation does not include the expenses incurred before resolution. In contingency/emergency fee be keen to ensure the payment does not exceed 30% of the amount accorded to you upon winning a case. It is the standard rate which is non-negotiable.