Missouri Chamber works to lower outrageous contingency fees

This week the Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee held a public hearing on legislation that would cap the amount of contingency fees attorneys can collect from their clients. Senate Bill 846 is sponsored by Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, and provides that an attorney shall not collect a contingency of more than a specified percentage of damages.

“This bill is a way to provide that the benefit in a legal case is given to the defendant instead of putting it back into the legal system,” Se. Richard testified.

The bill creates a tiered system for fees. Attorneys would receive no more than:

  • 33 percent of the first $50,000
  • 25 percent of the next $50,000
  • 15 percent of the next $500,000
  • 10 percent of any amount exceeding $600,000

The Missouri Chamber supports this legislation.  Jay Atkins, the Chamber’s general counsel, testified on behalf of the bill.

“The Missouri Chamber is working hard on broad-spectrum tort reform this session, and we are proud to support Sen. Richard’s bill,” Atkins said. “This is a common sense measure that will bring stability to the tort system, and bring litigation costs down for everyone.”

The committee took no action on the bill.

For more information about tort reform and similar issues, please contact Jay Atkins at jatkins@mochamber.com or by phone at 573-634-3511.

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