The cost to hire a legal malpractice attorney

If you hired an attorney and he or she acted outside the scope of legal conduct and ethics, you may have a legal malpractice case. However, this type of lawsuit requires the guidance of an experienced legal malpractice attorney. 

In this situation, learn more about the fees you can expect to pay for this professional service. 

Contingency fees 

Most legal malpractice attorneys work on a contingency basis. With this type of arrangement, you agree to pay a percentage of the settlement you receive in a victory rather than an hourly rate. Like hourly rates, contingency fees vary depending on the circumstances of your case. In general, expect to pay about 15% of your financial settlement in a contingency arrangement. 

Retainer and hourly arrangements 

Because legal malpractice cases are often complex, your attorney may require a retainer. With this arrangement, you pay for a portion of your legal fees upfront before the attorney takes on your case. The retainer applies to the attorney’s hourly service rate. Once you meet the retainer, you will receive a bill for the remaining unpaid hours. 

Most attorneys charge an average hourly rate of $100 to $400. These fees vary depending on specialty, geographic location, complexity of the case and other factors. The hourly fee will usually appear on your invoice in 15-minute or 10-minute intervals. 

Attorney expenses 

You will also be responsible for other costs and fees related to your case. For example, your legal malpractice attorney may hire an expert witness to testify about whether the attorney you are suing acted illegally. Filing fees and research expenses may also apply to your case. The practice may require that you pay a portion of these expenses in advance. 

When you have an initial consultation with a legal malpractice attorney, he or she will outline the fee structure. You will find out how the practice bills and often receive an estimate of how much you can expect to pay in legal fees.