Legal Fees FAQs How does a contingent fee agreement work? How much do lawyers charge as a contingency fee? I hired a lawyer on a contingency-based contract who appears to have dropped the ball in my case. I'd like to hire a new lawyer, but can the previous lawyer hold me to the terms of the original contract if I win the case with the new lawyer? Is all litigation the very complicated and expensive? Who pays the out-of-pocket expenses of litigation? Are they paid upfront by me or by my attorney?