The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org
OPINION 86-2
April 15, 1986
Lawyers may charge a lawful rate of interest on liquidated fees and costs either as provided in advance by written agreement or upon reasonable notice.

Opinion: 71-26
Case: The Florida Bar v. Fields , 482 So.2d 1354 (Fla. 1986).

In Opinion 71-26 this Committee found it permissible for attorneys to charge interest at an agreed legal rate for fees not paid when due. The question now before the Committee is whether attorneys likewise may charge interest on advancements of costs.

The Committee finds no basis for distinguishing between fees and costs advances for the purpose of charging interest. Accordingly, the Committee concludes that the Code of Professional Responsibility does not prohibit an attorney from charging a lawful rate of interest on liquidated fees and costs, either as provided in advance by written agreement or, in the absence of a written agreement, upon reasonable notice. It is the committee's view that 60 days would constitute reasonable notice.

In determining the appropriate and lawful rate of interest to be charged, attorneys must adhere to the guidelines provided in The Florida Bar v. Fields , 482 So.2d 1354 (Fla. 1986).



[Revised: 08-24-2011]