Master Your Income

Attorney Fee Deferral

As a trial lawyer, you can strategically plan for your contingency fees around taxes, life’s milestones, and retirement goals.

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Defer your fees. Plan for taxes.

Through fee deferral, you can receive your contingency fees as payments over time in a tailored schedule. Also called attorney fee structure, fee deferral is a smart investment option to manage wealth and plan for cash flow.

How will fee deferral affect my taxes?

Structuring an attorney fee breaks up a large lump sum into a schedule of payments over time. Attorneys who structure their fees only have to pay taxes on the payments they receive in a given year.

How do I get started deferring my fees?

To defer a fee, you must not have constructive receipt of the money. As part of the settlement with the defendants and/or their insurers, your contingency fee must be a term of settlement that allows you to create a periodic payment obligation and defer some or all of your fee. The defendants/insurers would issue your fee payable to the selected assignment company. If a 468b qualified settlement fund (QSF) is established, your contingency fee must be a term of settlement that allows your fees to be payable into the QSF, which would then issue your deferred fee to the selected assignment company.

What type of fees can I defer?

Attorneys can defer any contingency fee from a physical or non-physical injury tort settlement.

If I worked on the case with another attorney, am I still eligible to defer my fee?

You can structure your fees even if you worked on a case with another attorney. Each attorney can decide whether to receive their portion of the fee in a lump sum or to defer into a unique payment schedule.

When You Structure Your Attorney Fee:


You’ll only pay taxes on the payments you receive within the year. Meanwhile, the rest of your fee will grow, tax-deferred, in an investment portfolio.

Your investment-backed deferral plan will address both your short- and long-term financial goals.

Your fee deferral plan will work in lockstep with your existing investment portfolio.

There are no limits to how much or how little you defer.