Entitlement to Attorney’s Fees

Entitlement to Attorney's Fees

Can the other party be responsible for your attorney’s fees? Maybe.

In Florida, attorney fees incurred during the course of litigation are only recoverable from the other party if specifically allowed by contract or statute.  Often, contracts will have a provision regarding entitlement to attorney’s fees which states that the prevailing party in any future litigation related to the contract is permitted to recover attorney’s fees from the other party.  This means regardless of which party initiated the suit, the prevailing party is entitled to recover their attorney’s fees from the other party.

How to Get Entitlement to Attorney’s Fees

If your contract has a provision similar to the following, the court may require the other side to pay your attorney’s fees.  Conversely, should the other side prevail, the court may require you to pay their attorney’s fees.

“In the event of any dispute or litigation arising out of or concerning this Agreement, or the enforcement or interpretation hereof, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees, together with court costs, from the other party.”

Attorney’s Fees Florida Statutes

Additionally, certain statutes in Florida provide for the recovery of reasonable attorney’s fees for the prevailing party.  For example, Florida courts may award entitlement to attorney’s fees in restrictive covenant enforcement actions, eminent domain proceedings, and claims brought under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act pursuant to the sections of the Florida statutes governing these claims.

Entitlement to attorney’s fees does not relieve the prevailing party from their obligation to pay their attorney, it only gives them the right to be reimbursed for their attorney’s fees by the other party.  It is important to have an experienced attorney who can review any disputed contracts for attorney fee provisions and who knows the various statutory entitlements to fees.