A California appeal court on Tuesday sided with Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy in a dispute over a novel contingency fee deal that called for more legal fees than the amount of money the client recovered.

Upholding an arbitration award for the firm of $7.5 million, San Francisco’s 1st District Court of Appeal rejected arguments that the award — based on a contingency fee of 16 percent of the client’s estimated damages — was unconscionable.

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