Attorneys’ Fees in Securities Arbitration
The American rule of law does not automatically grant the winning side their attorneys’ fees. According to FINRA’s Basic Arbitrator Training, arbitrators can award attorneys’ fees when:
- the parties’ contract includes a clause that provides for attorneys’ fee; or
- all of the parties request or agree to such fees; or
- the fees are required as part of the statutory claim.
Many states have an elder fraud statute which allows attorneys’ fees to be awarded for a violation of the statute.
Awarding attorneys’ fees in Florida has always been a little tricky because Florida law allows arbitrators to award attorneys’ fees pursuant to the Florida Securities Act, Fla. Stat. 517 but required a party to seek the amount of attorneys’ fees from a court. However, in 2013, the Florida Legislature revised Florida’s Arbitration Code by adopting the RUAA which includes substantial changes to the provision governing the award of attorneys’ fees. Fla. Stat. 682.11(2) now states, “[a]n arbitration may award reasonable attorney’s fees and other reasonable expenses of arbitration if such an award is authorized by law in a civil action involving the same claim or by the agreement of the parties to the arbitration proceedings.” The revised statute appears to authorize arbitrators to decide whether attorneys’ fees may be awarded.
No matter how the arbitrators rule, our clients only pay us if we successfully recover money for you. Many of our lawyers come from Wall Street law firms where we billed by the hour. Silver Law Group generally works on a contingency fee basis, and we focus on our client’s success only earning a fee from a successful recovery.