Construction Law

How Much Do Construction Lawyers Cost? featured image

How Much Do Construction Lawyers Cost?

One of the biggest concerns that construction companies have when trying to hire a lawyer is determining how much a construction lawyer costs. It’s difficult to answer that question with a standard answer because every lawyer is different and charges differently. It also depends on the specifics of each case and how long a case takes to resolve. In this editorial, an Asheville construction lawyer discusses how much construction lawyers cost.

Related: Attorney Fees and Small Contract Claims

Depends on Payment Terms

The biggest determining factor of how much construction lawyer costs is the payment terms. Payment terms structure how you’ll pay your lawyer to handle your case. Every lawyer has their own payment terms, which can vary significantly from lawyer to lawyer. In some cases, lawyers are paid hourly. In other cases, they work on a contingency, which means they only get paid if they win your case. Other lawyers use a combination of these payment structures. Before you hire a lawyer, discuss the payment terms to clarify how payment will be handled. This should give you a better understanding of how much resolving your case should cost.


Paying hourly is a method that construction companies are familiar with, and it also makes it easier to calculate what the costs will be. You can estimate the overall number of hours that your lawyer needs to handle your case, and many lawyers can also provide estimates based on similar cases that they handled. The downside to hourly payment terms is that the cost can increase beyond what you thought the cost would be. 


A contingency is a system where a lawyer foregoes payment until they win your case. Then, the lawyer takes a portion of your awards as payment. This could be an easier way to hire a lawyer if your business is struggling with funding. However, it will effectively reduce the amount that you collect since a portion of it goes to a lawyer. 


A retainer is a system where the company pays a lawyer on a periodic basis (usually monthly) to do a certain amount of legal work. A retainer is an option for companies that expect to be involved in legal action often. For example, companies that are working to recruit subcontractors for a project will need a lot of contracts developed and reviewed. Having a lawyer on retainer makes it easier and more affordable to send multiple contracts to be reviewed. 

Related: What’s the Difference Between a Subscription Plan and a Retainer Fee?

Flat Rate

Some lawyers will work for a flat rate, meaning a single payment for doing the legal work. When working with a flat rate lawyer, the scope of work may be significantly limited. For example, the flat rate may only cover one legal action. If you need more legal work outside of the scope of that initial contract, you have to pay another separate fee. 

There are many ways that you can pay your lawyer. It’s important to discuss payment terms before you begin any type of work. If you have questions about payment terms for legal services, contact an Asheville contractor attorney from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants.

If you would like to speak with an Asheville construction lawyer, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.