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Solo and Small Firm

The Practitioner Summer 2015, Volume 21, Issue 2

Structuring Attorney Fees

By Patrick Farber

Patrick Farber is a structured settlements broker in California with Atlas Settlement Group. He can be reached at 800734-3910, pat@patfarber.com.

Alitigation practice in which most income is derived from contingency fees is not for the faint of heart, particularly for solo and small law firms. While the eventual payout can be substantial, a firm can experience long periods where little or no income is generated. This can doom a small firm or solo practice without adequate reserves. One strategy to help stabilize a firm’s cash flow and better plan for future costs is through structuring attorney fees. The concept is much like creating structured settlements for injured clients (but with tax differences).

Attorneys suggest structured settlements for their clients when the settlement funds must last a long period (even a lifetime) to help pay for medical bills and living expenses, or to pay for big-ticket items such as housing, a new vehicle, or even college costs. Structured settlements offer guaranteed, scheduled, tax-free payments to the injured client without worry about market fluctuations, bad investment decisions, or downturns in the economy.

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