These summaries were prepared by McGuireWoods LLP lawyer Thomas E. Spahn. They are based on the letter opinions issued by the Virginia State Bar. Any editorial comments reflect Mr. Spahn's current personal views, and not the opinions of the Virginia State Bar, McGuireWoods or its clients. 
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LEO NumTopicsSummary

8-Bills and Fees

38-Fee Splitting

A collection lawyer whose client does not always take steps to collect on judgments obtained (which include a 25% attorneys' fee provision) may not charge a "flat rate" with the client retaining all amounts that may later be collected, but may arrange to receive 25% of whatever collections the client ultimately makes, and may also arrange for judgments to be entered without the 25% attorneys' fee component (with arrangements to be made later for any enforcement work the lawyer might undertake). [ This LEO was further explained in LEO 1161.] [This Legal Ethics Opinion was overruled to the extent its holding is inconsistent with LEO 1783 which permitted a lawyer representing a lender in collecting on a note containing a provision for the award of 25% attorney's fees of the principal balance due to give the client/lender whatever portion of the 25% was not actually spent on attorney's fees.]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn