Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Contingent fees for lawyers in Spain

In the US, if you have a good case, it’s fairly common to be able to get a lawyer to take your case on a contingent fee. If you lose, you pay nothing, but if you win, the lawyer gets some amount of the winnings. The advantage of this means that even the very poor can take advantage of the legal system when their rights have been violated.

These kinds of arrangements used to be strictly illegal in Europe, but in 2009 the Spanish Supreme Court ruled that contingency fees cannot be prohibited.

Of course, finding a lawyer that is willing to be paid on a contingency basis is probably still a challenge. Although contingency fees are not illegal, it’s not clear that the court would be required to enforce a contingency fee, so lawyers might not take this kind of case for fear of not being paid.

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