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Jumping into contingent-fee work



Not too long ago it was frowned on for lawyers to charge contingency fees to clients such as big corporations that could readily afford to pay hourly rates. Now it seems to be too profitable to resist: "It's not often that an Am Law 200 firm doubles its revenue in the span of three short years. But that's exactly what Washington, D.C.-based Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky has managed to do since 2001 -- and most of the jump is attributable to contingency fee plaintiffs work." Its key specialty: representing companies that opt out from settlements to file separate antitrust suits in cases involving vitamins, citric acid, commercial explosives, and graphite electrodes. In 2002 Dickstein's group of clients settled its case against vitamin makers for $2 billion, but the firm won't say what percentage of that sum it kept as its fee. (Ashby Jones, "Defense Firms: The Opt-Out Option", part of The American Lawyer's 2004 supplement Plaintiff Power (this portion not online, purchase)).

 

 


Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.