The position of the Australian Bar Association (ABA) is that contingency fees must remain unlawful in all states and territories.
The introduction of contingency fees poses a significant risk to the administration of justice, the public interest and community confidence in the legal profession.
To allow lawyers to hold a direct percentage financial stake in a matter they are acting in undermines both the substance and appearance of lawyers’ professional and ethical responsibilities. Anything which may compromise the independence of the profession has to be resisted.
This should be the position nationally. As a national profession, the ethical standards of Australian lawyers should not vary in such a significant respect according to state or territory borders.
Adopted by the Council of the ABA, August 2020.