FLORIDA BAR ETHICS OPINION
April 15, 1986
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
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.
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).