Contingency Fees – What is Old is New Again

One of the worst-kept secrets in Ontario was the existence of Retainer Agreements entered into between personal injury Plaintiffs and their counsel, in which payment of legal fees was dependant on the Plaintiff being successful in the lawsuit. While not specifically called a “Contingency Fee Agreement”, the practical reality was that counsel would be paid for their work, if and only if the client succeeded in the lawsuit. While other jurisdictions across Canada and the United States embraced contingency fees as an appropriate means by which deserving claims could be advanced by competent counsel, Ontario maintained its anachronistic aversion to legalizing contingency fees into the 21 st century.


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Presented at the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association MVA Conference, March 4, 2005

Andrew Murray

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