US Success based litigation. US contingency based litigation

Success-based US litigation – the best model for non-US based businesses and individuals

The best business relationships are those where both sides share the risks and rewards.   Where the interests are aligned.  Yet, in almost all cases involving US litigation, the interests of US law firms and their clients are completely opposite.  US law firms seek to bill their clients on an hourly basis, and to generate as much legal fees as possible.  The client, on the other hand, wants to minimize legal fees.  The clash of interest is clear and very often results in an antagonistic relationship.  This situation is ever worse where the client is based outside of the United States.  Such foreign clients – whether large foreign banks, businesses, or individuals in probate cases – are not aware of the outrageous billing practices of US law firms.  As a result, the relationship starts with great promise, but very quickly evolves into one where the client quickly bleeds to death, with the US law firm withdrawing from representation after the client can no longer pay the legal fees. 

We believe that success-fee arrangements are the best way to align the interests of the client and the lawyer. In other words, to partner clients.   In essence, we bet on (i) our ability to identify good cases, and (ii) to win those cases and achieve great results for our client and ourselves. 

For several decades Silver & Co. has achieved a solid track record of representing non-US based clients in US litigation.  Our years of experience has helped us identify the most high-value areas of US litigation, and then cherry-pick the cases we believe in.  This is completely different from traditional law firms who are focused on one and only one thing – maximizing billable hours and generating fees. 

The cases we have taken can be business litigation (creditor, shareholder/partner/investor disputes, patent infringement), or probate/trust cases.

Success-based US litigation

Obviously, to take cases on a success basis means that we only take on cases we believe we can win. And not only win, but win big.  As a result, we only take on certain kinds of cases:

  1. The legal case is strong. Whether dealing with a client who is a large bank, beneficiary of a will/trust, or a patent owner, we must be certain that the case is strong. 
  2. The win will be big. We are interested only in cases where the payoff is large.  If we are willing to take the risk, we want to see a big reward at the end.  Thus we only seek cases where the potential “win” is at least $1,000,000, of which our fee is at least $333,333.  We will not even consider small cases.
  3. We must be assured that the defendant we sue can pay. This is a fundamental part of our analysis.  Before we take any case, we conduct significant background analysis to be certain that the defendant has the ability to pay

If these three elements are present, we will take the case on a success basis.   


High-stakes litigation.

We look for what is known as “high stakes” litigation. What is “high-stakes” litigation?  High-stakes litigation means cases where the dispute is of significant importance for our client.  Litigation in the US is complex, time consuming and costly.  There must be a very strong incentive for a client to file a lawsuit in the United States.  In almost all cases, this means that that there is significant money at stake, and that this money is of great importance to our potential client.  Unless such incentive exists, the client will simply not be willing to engage in US litigation, or see the case through to the end.   


Commercial litigation cases we look for are often found in these areas:

  • Commercial litigation and business litigation
    • Creditor disputes and enforcement of foreign judgments
    • Shareholder or partner or investment disputes
  • Patent infringement litigation
  • Probate and trust litigation

As previously stated, not every case is suitable for success-based litigation.  The case must be rock solid, the amount in dispute must be at least $1,000,000 and the US defendant must have the ability to pay once we win.

If you have such a case, feel free to contact us to for a free consultation.  All conversations are confidential.



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