What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
There is a portion of no-fault insurance payments we are receiving that are currently in dispute with a past attorney, hence that portion is in escrow (see: "All I wanted to do was terminate the attorney that I have no contract with." (Posted by Glasher_12-10-08)). There is an attorney that we were referred to that is very positive about the outcome of this issue. We began fee discussion with this attorney. He informed us of his hourly fee (230/hr). I believe that risk brings out the best effort in people, so with $80K of disputed funds currently in escrow growing at $2545.00/month ($10.46/hr 24/7 x ⅓) until litigated, I had suggested a one third contingency, as the one third fee portion of the escrow will grow at $10180.00 a year beyond the begining one third ($26K+), knowing this will take at least a year to litigate but probably more. He countered my offer with the one third contingency plus putting up $5K up front to cover his begining cost, but to be refunded (loan returned?) upon successful litigation.
While I will ask him, there was no mention to the disposition of the $5K if litigation failed. I'm assuming since there was no mention, there would be no return. I doubt that he is so confident he left that part off. Never-the-less, this sounds like he wants all the cookies, and the milk.
If he is wanting us to cover cost and accept a contingency, I thought that a 25% maximum would be more appropriate. Is my discomfort with his fee offer warranted?