I’d like to clarify our position on contingent fees agreements, in response to a recent hearing panel decision.
First, let me say that access to legal services is an integral part of our work, and promoting access to legal services goes hand in hand with our responsibilities to protect the public interest. Both are central to the Law Society’s mandate. These are critically important aspects of our work, and we are ever mindful of their importance in every aspect of the legal system.
This is important in the relation to contingent fees. Permitting contingent fee agreements is consistent with the work the Law Society does promoting access to legal services, as contingent fee agreements can enable clients to pursue their right to obtain legal services in cases where the cost of doing so might otherwise be prohibitive.
Our role in permitting these arrangements is to ensure the right level of oversight is in place. The Legal Profession Act and the Law Society Rules permit lawyers to enter into contingent fee agreements for the provision of legal services subject to certain requirements and limitations. The requirements and limitations are there to protect the public interest in situations where contingent fee agreements are in place. As additional oversight, lawyers’ fees are always subject to review by the courts.