DP4841 | Playing it Safe with Low Conditional Fees versus Being Insured by High Contingent Fees

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Publication Date

23/01/2005

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Abstract

Under contingent fees the attorney gets a share of the judgement; under conditional fees they get an upscale premium if the case is won, which is, however, unrelated to the adjudicated amount. We compare conditional and contingent fees in a framework where lawyers choose between a safe and a risky litigation strategy. Under conditional fees lawyers prefer the safe strategy, under contingent fess the risky one. Risk-averse plaintiffs prefer conditional fees over contingent fees when lawyering costs are low and vice versa for high lawyering costs.