Filippatos PLLC is sensitive to the traumatic and challenging times our clients find themselves in when experiencing issues at work—where most of us spend the majority of our waking hours—and especially so in the midst of COVID-19. We do not believe it is appropriate to require retainers of individuals who are facing uncertainties in their careers or, even worse, who have just lost their jobs by unlawful means. Thus, in most cases where we are retained, we offer a pure contingency arrangement on a sliding scale between 25% and 40% depending on the complexities and challenges presented by the particular case.
As part of our client-centric approach, we also strive to be flexible and responsive to the specific needs of those we serve. Accordingly, for those clients who wish to retain our services purely on an hourly basis—which typically occurs in the context of short-term negotiations of executive contracts or severance agreements—Gerry Filippatos’ standard hourly rate is currently $1,200 and he requires a minimum initial retainer payment of $10,000; Jane Lippman’s standard hourly rate is $650 and she requires a minimum initial retainer payment of $5,000. Filippatos PLLC also offers blended hourly-contingency retainers in appropriate cases that provide a reduced hourly rate in conjunction with a proportional contingency fee arrangement. A typical version of such an arrangement would be our standard hourly rates billed at 50% in addition to a 25% contingency fee.
What is a pure contingency fee arrangement?
This is a retainer agreement between attorney and client whereby the attorney agrees not to charge the client any legal fees whatsoever unless (and only if) there is a monetary recovery in the case, at which point the attorney receives a percentage of that recovery.
What is a pure hourly fee arrangement?
This is a retainer agreement between attorney and client where the client agrees to pay the attorney an hourly rate for legal services performed regardless of the result in the case. Typically, the attorney will require an initial retainer payment from the client to bill against while providing invoice statements at regular intervals. The attorney may also require replenishment retainer payments when the initial retainer is exhausted.
What is a blended fee arrangement?
This is a retainer agreement between attorney and client whereby the attorney agrees to be paid at a reduced hourly rate in conjunction with a proportional contingency fee arrangement.
Do any of the retainer agreements described here prevent a client from ending the attorney-client relationship at any point?
No, applicable ethics rules and regulations prohibit an attorney from impeding or inhibiting a client’s unfettered freedom to engage the attorney of their choice. See Statement of Client’s Rights.
Do I have to pay to sue my attorney if I have a fee dispute with them?
Not necessarily—although you may choose to sue your attorney or former attorney in court regarding a fee dispute, you may also have the option to resolve that dispute through binding arbitration at minimal cost to you through the New York State Fee Dispute Resolution Program.
- CT Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (“CCHRO”)
- CT Department of Labor Communications (“CTDOL”)
- NYC Commision on Human Rights (“NYCCHR”)
- NY Division of Human Rights (“NYSDHR”)
- New York State Department of Labor (“NYDOL”)
- National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”) NY Referral Service (“NELARS”)
- NELA National Lawyer Directory
- U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”)
- U.S. SEC Office of the Whistleblower (“SECOW”)
- U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”)
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)