Attorney Fee Factors, Litigation

It is rare that a party is awarded attorney fees in litigation. For one, attorney fees are only recoverable in limited situations. Specifically, absent statutory authorization or contractual agreement, each party must bear his or her own attorney fees. David Ranken, Jr. Tech. Inst. v. Boykins, 816 S.W.2d 189, 193 (Mo. 1991).

When there is an award of attorney fees, the Court can weigh a number of factors in deciding how much to award. These factors include: (1) legal fees charged for comparable work; (2) the number of hours reasonably spent on the litigation; (3) the nature of the services; (4) the degree of necessary professional expertise; (5) the nature and importance of the subject matter; (6) the amount involved or the result obtained; and (7) “the vigor of the opposition.” Gilliland v. Missouri Athletic Club, 273 S.W.3d 516, 523 (Mo. 2009).

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