I got a new attorney, signed to authorize the change, but we never signed a new fee agreement. I have received my settlement and my new attorney wants my old agreement to carry over to him. Wasn't he supposed to explain this to me, and have me sign a specific agreement with him?
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1 Answer from Attorneys
I assume that this was a contingency fee. Business and Professions Code section 6147 requires a written fee agreement with ANY attorney who is to receive a contingency fee. Failure of the lawyer to have a written agreement is voidable by the client, but the lawyer is still entitled to recover a reasonable fee in what is known as "quantum meruit." A fee agreement with another lawyer does not "carry" over to a new lawyer.