Report the attorney at the Law Society. This is a contingency agreement, but it is illegal.
Section 2 of the Contingency Fees Act says the following:
2. Contingency fees agreements.—(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any law or the common law, a legal practitioner may, if in his or her opinion there are reasonable prospects that his or her client may be successful in any proceedings, enter into an agreement with such client in which it is agreed—
(a)that the legal practitioner shall not be entitled to any fees for services rendered in respect of such proceedings unless such client is successful in such proceedings to the extent set out in such agreement;
(b)that the legal practitioner shall be entitled to fees equal to or, subject to subsection (2), higher than his or her normal fees, set out in such agreement, for any such services rendered, if such client is successful in such proceedings to the extent set out in such agreement.
(2) Any fees referred to in subsection (1) (b) which are higher than the normal fees of the legal practitioner concerned (hereinafter referred to as the ‘success fee’), shall not exceed such normal fees by more than 100 per cent: Provided that, in the case of claims sounding in money, the total of any such success fee payable by the client to the legal practitioner, shall not exceed 25 per cent of the total amount awarded or any amount obtained by the client in consequence of the proceedings concerned, which amount shall not, for purposes of calculating such excess, include any costs.
What this basically means is that, if an attorney concludes a contingency agreement with a client, the attorney may not charge more than 25% of the claim amount, or more than twice his normal fee, whichever is the lesser.
Clearly, if he claims 30% of the winnings plus the taxed bill, he is overreaching you and he is then, not only in contravention of the Act, but also the Law Society Rules.
Note that expenses incurred by the attorney in driving the matter is excluded from fees. and can be collected to reimburse the attorney.
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