A “Contingency Fee” basis as used in the legal context means that an attorney is not paid for any fees unless and until a settlement or judgment is obtained for the client.
When a settlement or judgement is obtained, the attorney is usually paid his or her fee from such amount, plus any expenses and cost the work incurred in connection with the representation. After such amounts are paid to the attorney, the client is then entitled to the remainder. In some cases, an insurance company or other third party may have a subrogation lien on the settlement. In this case, any amounts owed to such third-party must also be paid before the client is entitled to the remainder.