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Conditional (Contingent) Fees in the Russian Federation

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image of Review of Central and East European Law
For more content, see Review of Socialist Law.

In this article, the author discusses contemporary Russian judicial practice concerning the legality of attorney's conditional fees. He starts with a brief overview of foreign practice and distinguishes various kinds of conditional fees. The author provides a classification of conditional fees, through the prism of which he evaluates judicial practice in Russia. He distinguishes and, in particular, contrasts the contingent (or contingency) fee from (with) the conditional fee per se (the conditional fee in the narrow sense).

The main focus is on a landmark 2007 Decision of the RF Constitutional Court in which the Court ruled against conditional fees in Russia. The author provides a detailed analysis of the Decision.

He supports a view which is in clear opposition to the Constitutional Court, finding the Decision facile, criticizing its motivation and questioning its feasibility. The author describes the claims submitted to the Court, the findings of the Court, and the conclusions reached by the Court. Furthermore, he considers the impact which the Decision may have on judicial practice.

The author concludes by discussing the possible future of conditional fees in the Russian Federation and notes that the Decision of the RF Constitutional Court may not constitute the final word on the issue. He advocates further and more in-depth research on the nature of conditional fees.


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