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Conditional versus Contingent Fees

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  • Emons, Winand

Abstract

Under contingent fees the attorney gets a share of the judgement; under conditional fees the lawyer gets 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 are uninformed about the clients’ cases. If there is asymmetric information about the merits of cases, in equilibrium attorneys will offer only conditional fees. If there is asymmetric information about the risk of cases, only contingent fee contracts are offered in equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Emons, Winand, 2004. "Conditional versus Contingent Fees," CEPR Discussion Papers 4532, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4532
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roland Kirstein & Neil Rickman, 2004. ""Third Party Contingency" Contracts in Settlement and Litigation," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(4), pages 555-555, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chopard, Bertrand & Cortade, Thomas & Langlais, Eric, 2010. "Trial and settlement negotiations between asymmetrically skilled parties," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 18-27, March.
    2. Winand Emons, 2006. "Playing It Safe with Low Conditional Fees versus Being Insured by High Contingent Fees," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 20-32.
    3. Winand Emons & Nuno Garoupa, 2006. "US-style contingent fees and UK-style conditional fees: agency problems and the supply of legal services," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 379-385.
    4. Winand Emons & Nuno Garoupa, 2004. "The Economics of US-style Contingent Fees and UK-style Conditional Fees," Diskussionsschriften dp0407, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    5. Emons, Winand & Fluet, Claude, 2016. "Why plaintiffs’ attorneys use contingent and defense attorneys fixed fee contracts," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 16-23.
    6. Florian Baumann & Tim Friehe, 2012. "Contingent fees meet the British rule: an exploratory study," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 499-510, March.
    7. At, Christian & Gabuthy, Yannick, 2015. "Moral hazard and agency relationship in sequential litigation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 86-90.
    8. Bruno Deffains & Eric Langlais, 2011. "Informational externalities and settlements in mass tort litigations," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 241-262, October.
    9. Deffains, Bruno & Langlais, Eric, 2007. "Informational externalities and informational sharing in class action suits," MPRA Paper 4846, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Jeong-Yoo Kim, 2015. "An attorney fee as a signal in pretrial negotiation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 114(1), pages 75-102, January.
    11. Frank H. Stephen, 2013. "Lawyers, Markets and Regulation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14803, April.
    12. Stone, Michael P. & Miceli, Thomas J., 2012. "Optimal attorney advertising," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 329-338.
    13. Deffains, Bruno & Desrieux, Claudine, 2015. "To litigate or not to litigate? The impacts of third-party financing on litigation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 178-189.
    14. Baik, Kyung Hwan & Kim, In-Gyu, 2007. "Contingent fees versus legal expenses insurance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 351-361, September.
    15. Lorenzo Sacconi, 2011. "The case against lawyers’ contingent fees and the misapplication of principal-agent models," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 263-292, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    adverse selection; conditional fees; contingent fees; moral hazard; pooling; screening;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)

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