It is ethical to charge contingent fees as long as the fee is appropriate and reasonable and the client has been fully informed of the availability of alternative billing arrangements. The fact that a client can afford to compensate the lawyer on another basis does not render a contingent fee arrangement for such a client unethical. Nor is it unethical to charge a contingent fee when liability is clear and some recovery is anticipated. If the lawyer and client so contract, a lawyer is entitled to a full contingent fee on the total recovery by the client, including that portion of the recovery that was the subject of an early settlement offer that was rejected by the client. Finally, if the lawyer and client agree, it is ethical for the lawyer to charge a different contingent fee at different stages of a matter, and to increase the percentage taken as a fee as the amount of the recovery or savings to the client increases.
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