Free Legal Insights White Paper

Turning the Tables: Effective Strategies for Shifting the Burden of Attorneys’ Fees

The must-know practical and legal considerations for effectively recovering attorneys’ fees from an opponent.

Attorneys’ fees are a constant concern of both clients and attorneys.’s Turning the Tables: Effective Strategies for Shifting the Burden of Attorneys’ Fees, examines the possible avenues by which a party may recover attorneys’ fees from an opposing party, combined with practical advice to assist practitioners in fully maximizing fee recovery.

Major Legal Insights covered in this white paper:

  • Understanding the statutory fee-shifting framework
  • Drafting a well-crafted attorneys’ fees provision
  • Identifying court rules permitting fee recovery
  • Knowing the prerequisites for recovery of fees
  • Preparing the necessary documentation to support the fee application

Table of Contents



  2. Fee-Shifting Statutes Make Prevailing Parties Whole and Deter Bad Faith Misconduct in Litigation
  3. Well-Drafted Contractual Provisions Assist in Enforcing the Terms of the Contract
  4. Fee Shifting in the Court Rules
  5. The Court’s Inherent Authority to Shift Attorneys’ Fees May Compensate For An Opponent’s Egregious Behavior
  7. Attorneys’ Fees May Be Recovered Even if Not Wholly Successful On All Claims
  8. Conscientious Recordkeeping is Essential to Maximizing Fee Recovery


  1. A Clear Representation Agreement With the Client May Ensure Payment of Recovered Fees
  2. An Alternative Fee Recovery Clause Allows An Attorney to Recover Market Rates Even If Charging Reduced Rates to the Client


About the Authors

Heather Menard, Senior Research Attorney, graduated with honors from UCLA School of Law, after which she became a litigation attorney with Sidley Austin. As a litigator and in her current compliance-centered role, Heather has worked with a range of legal issues, including contract law, constitutional claims, consumer protection, unfair business practices, employment law, accountant liability, and securities litigation.

Julie Clement, Senior Research Attorney, served as an attorney for the Michigan Court of Appeals, a law clerk with the Michigan Supreme Court, and supervising attorney in the Michigan Court of Appeals’ Research Division. Julie then became a professor in the Legal Writing Department of Western Michigan University Thomas Cooley Law School, earning tenure in 2014, as well as operating a legal consulting firm. Throughout her career, she has focused her pro bono work on community development, including municipal, environmental, and nonprofit law. Julie graduated cum laude from Thomas Cooley Law School, where she served on the school’s law review (Screening Editor) and Journal of Practical and Clinical Law (Senior Research Editor).

Randall Holbrook, Senior Research Attorney, is a cum laude graduate of Hamline University School of Law (Mitchell Hamline School of Law).  After graduation, he was a law clerk for the Ninth District Court, and later worked in private practice and as general counsel for a group of agricultural finance companies.  Randy has also focused his work for a number of years on legislative and regulatory monitoring, as an attorney in private practice, and as a member of LRC’s research team.

Download this Legal Insights White Paper now:

* required field