News & Knowledge


Proposed success-based fee arrangement in arbitrations in Hong Kong


現時,香港律師不能向當事人按條件收費 (即按結果收費或「不成功、不收費」 )。此限制源自傳統普通法的包攬訴訟和助訟的原則,基於公共政策理由,需要捍衛司法公義的純正性和確保第三方不能操縱訴訟的過程。

香港法律改革委員會(「法改會」 )於 2021年12月15日發表《與仲裁結果有關的收費架構》報告書,建議撤銷禁止律師採用「與結果有關的收費架構」的規定,容許律師就在香港及在香港以外地方進行的仲裁,與客戶討論不同的收費協議。



  1. 按條件收費協議:當事人同意只在自己的申索取得成果的情況下,向律師支付一項稱為成功收費的額外費用。
  2. 按損害賠償收費協議:當事人只在仲裁中取得財務利益的情況下,方需向律師繳付費用,而費用上限定為該財務利益的 50%。
  3. 混合式按損害賠償收費協議:無論仲裁的結果如何,當事人都需要向律師支付一定的費用;另外,當事人需根據取得的財務利益,向律師支付額外費用。


  1. 讓市民大眾能更無礙地尋求公義
    有些當事人可能在法律程序期間未能支付律師費,以上的建議讓這些當事人有更多尋求公義的渠道。如果沒有這些建議,有些當事人可能未能聘請律師,而即使他的個案理據充份,也不能就此作出申訴。 同時,愈來愈多當事人希望收費具靈活性,以上的建議也可以滿足當事人的要求。
  2. 鞏固香港為主要仲裁中心的地位



Currently, Hong Kong lawyers are not allowed to charge their clients on a conditional fee (a.k.a. success-based fee or “no win, no fee”) basis. This restriction stems from the traditional common law doctrine of champerty and maintenance, which was based on the public policy ground of protecting the purity of justice and to ensure that third-parties could not manipulate the litigation process.

In a report titled “Outcome Related Fee Structures for Arbitration” and released on 15 December 2021, the Law Reform Commission (the “Commission”) recommended lifting the prohibition on the use of outcome related fee structures (“ORFS”) and permitting lawyers to discuss payment options with clients in arbitrations taking place in and outside Hong Kong.

Arbitration is a method for resolving disputes between parties in private by an independent arbitrator. This is an alternative to “traditional” litigation in Courts and widely regarded as a more time and cost-efficient way to resolve disputes.

In its report, the Commission has proposed the use of ORFS in arbitrations, whereby clients and their lawyers may choose and agree upon three types of agreements:-

  1. Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA): client agrees to pay the lawyer an additional fee, known as a success fee. Such success fee is only payable in the event of a successful outcome in the claim.
  2. Damages-Based Agreements (DBA): client only pays the lawyer when the client obtains a financial benefit in the arbitration. The legal fee receivable by the lawyer is capped at 50 per cent of the financial benefit.
  3. Hybrid Damages-Based Agreements (Hybrid DBA): client pays a certain fee to lawyers regardless of the outcome of the case, and offers additional rewards to the lawyer based on the financial benefits obtained.

The recommendations bring obvious benefits to the legal industry in Hong Kong:-

  1. Enhance access to justice
    The recommendations allow clients who cannot afford legal fees and payment by way of interim invoices greater access to justice. Some clients may be denied legal representation without these recommended arrangements and subsequently, will not be able to pursue what maybe a strong case. It also satisfies clients’ increasing demand for pricing and fee flexibility.
  2. Strengthening Hong Kong’s position as a major centre for arbitration
    Many jurisdictions already allow lawyers to link their fees with the outcome of the arbitration, but not Hong Kong. When clients decide the seat of arbitration, they may want to consider the flexibility they may have when structuring fee arrangements with their lawyers. The amendments, if passed, will strengthen Hong Kong’s position as a major centre for arbitration.

Entering into a dispute is a cost sensitive matter, whether through the Courts or by way of arbitration, and is almost certainly an expensive process with no guarantee as to eventual expenditure and outcome. The recommendation, if adopted, is surely a positive step for legal practitioners and clients alike.

Anthony Marrin (Consultant)
Priscilla Wong (Trainee Solicitor)
H. Y. Leung & Co., LLP
Hong Kong