When it comes to running a successful business in Florida or anywhere else in the country, one of the most important skills is the ability to weigh risks and rewards. This is because taking chances can have a tremendous upside – that is, if the risks pay off. By taking calculated risks, you can set your business apart from your competitors, build your customer/client base, and make a lot of money. On the other hand, taking the wrong risks can result in disputes with clients, customers and competitors. In a worst-case scenario, the dispute can end up in court – and that can be expensive.
The good news for small business owners in South Florida is that you can afford an attorney — as long as you’re dealing with an attorney who works with business contingency fee arrangements, like Eskander Loshak LLP. Here’s what you should know about this type of agreement:
The biggest benefit of a business contingency fee arrangement is that there are no initial fees. Instead, your lawyer will receive fees as a specific percentage of your settlement offer or judgment. In other words, he or she won’t get paid unless you are duly compensated.
Now that’s all well and good, but what happens if you don’t get a settlement offer or the court doesn’t rule in your favor? In that case you aren’t responsible for payment of any attorney’s fees at all. This gives your business lawyer plenty of reasons to fight for the best possible outcome. It also gives him or her plenty of reasons to be honest about the potential for winning your case from the outset.
Additional benefits of this type of arrangement are that you don’t have to be concerned about racking up hourly charges when you call or meet with your business lawyer about your case. Because you aren’t responsible for any fees unless you “win” your case, you don’t have to worry about the costs that would ordinarily add up when you’re engaged in a legal battle with a big business.
With all of that being stated, it is important that you and your prospective attorney have a frank conversation about this type of arrangement during your initial meeting. As the Florida Bar Association points out, “an early agreement concerning fees will prevent surprises and misunderstandings for both the client and the lawyer.”
Once you’ve discussed all of the details, make sure that also you get the fee contingency agreement in writing, as mandated by Florida ethics rules. These rules mandate that the written contract be, “signed by the client and any lawyer or law firm who will be paid under the contract.” It must also stipulate what percentage of the recovery the lawyer may keep, other expenses that will be deducted from the recovery (if applicable) and if so, how these expenses will be deducted.
When executed properly and fully understood by everyone involved, business contingency fee arrangements benefit both the client and the lawyer. If you are involved in a business dispute with a client, competitor or customer in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, or anywhere in South Florida, and want to know more about this type of arrangement, contact the experienced business lawyers at Eskander Loshak LLP, today.