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In most situations the contract controls who pays for what. If the contract just states that the costs get paid out of any recovery, then if there is no recovery, the attorney just has to eat those expenses.
That is why most attorneys will thoroughly review a case prior to taking it on a contingency basis to make sure it is a strong case because they don't want to get stuck with the costs if they lose.
However, I have seen contingency fee contracts that make the client responsible for administrative costs and things like expert witness costs, deposition costs, etc. whether they win or lose.
So the contract controls.