Near 35 Percent It's typically a percentage of the amount awarded to the winner. The percentage is agreed upon before the suit goes to court. In the US, it depends on the agreement that he has with the client. The lawyer may be working at an hourly rate and bill for the number of hours worked. There may be a contingency fee, often limited by law. The limit is set by the state is usually is either 30% or 1/3rd of the award, after costs. Typically the contingency fee is used when the outcome of the case is not a sure thing. The client pays all of the fees and costs. On settlement of the suit, the fees and costs are deducted from the award and the lawyer gets a third of the remaining amount. Example: Lawsuit is settled for a Million dollars. Costs for filing fees, discovery hearings, depositions and exhibit preparation come to $25,000. The attorney would get 1/3rd of $975,000, or $325,000, the client would get $650,000.