Missouri Contingency Fee Agreement: Understanding the Basics

The success of any legal case can depend on various factors, including the quality of legal representation, the strength of evidence, and the compatibility between the legal strategy and the corresponding legal framework. However, one aspect that can influence the outcome of a legal case is the financial arrangement between the client and the attorney. When it comes to personal injury cases, such as car accidents, medical malpractice, or premises liability, the Missouri contingency fee agreement is one of the most popular methods of payment.

What is a Missouri Contingency Fee Agreement?

A Missouri contingency fee agreement is a type of legal fee arrangement that allows clients to hire an attorney without having to pay any upfront costs. Instead, the attorney agrees to represent the client on a contingency fee basis, which means that the attorney`s fee will be contingent upon the successful outcome of the case. If the client wins or settles the case, the attorney will receive a percentage of the recovered amount, typically ranging from 33 to 40 percent, depending on the complexity and risk of the case. If the client loses the case, the attorney will not receive any fee.

Benefits of a Missouri Contingency Fee Agreement

There are several benefits of a Missouri contingency fee agreement, both for the client and the attorney. For the client, this type of fee arrangement can offer:

– Cost-effectiveness: The client does not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses, such as retainer fees, hourly rates, or expenses for expert witnesses, until the case is resolved.

– Motivation: The attorney has a vested interest in winning the case, as his or her fee is directly linked to the outcome. This can motivate the attorney to work harder and more diligently on the case.

– Access to legal representation: Clients who cannot afford the upfront costs of legal representation can still pursue their legal rights and claims, thanks to the contingency fee arrangement.

For the attorney, a Missouri contingency fee agreement can provide:

– Risk-sharing: The attorney assumes part of the risk associated with the case, as he or she will not receive any fee if the case is lost. This can encourage the attorney to carefully evaluate the merits of the case before accepting it.

– Financial incentive: If the case is successful, the attorney can receive a larger fee than he or she would receive under a traditional hourly rate or flat fee arrangement.

– Competitive advantage: Offering a Missouri contingency fee agreement can attract clients who value the cost-effectiveness and fairness of this type of payment method.

Key Considerations for a Missouri Contingency Fee Agreement

Before signing a Missouri contingency fee agreement, both the client and the attorney should be aware of several key considerations, including:

– The percentage of the contingency fee: It is important to clarify the exact percentage of the fee and how it will be calculated.

– The scope of the legal services: The agreement should specify the scope of the legal services that the attorney will provide and any limitations or exclusions.

– The payment of expenses: The agreement should clarify who will pay for the expenses associated with the case, such as court filing fees, deposition costs, and expert witness fees.

– Potential conflicts of interest: The attorney should disclose any potential conflicts of interest, such as prior representation of the opposing party, that could affect his or her impartiality and loyalty to the client.

– The termination of the agreement: The agreement should outline the conditions under which either party can terminate the agreement, such as non-payment of expenses or violation of ethical rules.


A Missouri contingency fee agreement can be a useful payment method for clients who need legal representation for personal injury cases and cannot afford the upfront costs. This type of payment arrangement can offer cost-effectiveness, motivation, and access to legal representation for clients, as well as risk-sharing, financial incentive, and competitive advantage for attorneys. However, both parties should carefully consider the terms and conditions of the agreement and ensure that they are clear, fair, and compliant with ethical rules.