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Civil Litigation

“Can I Seek Reimbursement for My Legal Fees if the Contract Only Permits Fees for the Other Party?”

By August 2, 2023No Comments

In the event that a dispute arises, a lot of contracts provide legal fee payments to prevailing parties. Many of these contract fee clauses contain language that awards fees unilaterally, only to one party, which is usually the contract’s drafter. The party with the most power in the contractual relationship will oftentimes draft broad fee provisions that apply only to them. As a result, the other party usually does not have much of an option, it’s either accept the contract as it is written, or reject the product or service.

Florida Law: Addressing Unilateral Fee Clauses under Fla. Stat. § 57.105

Fortunately, Florida law has come to the rescue in these situations. Under Fla. Stat. § 57.105:

If a contract contains a provision allowing attorney’s fees to a party when he or she is required to take any action to enforce the contract, the court may also allow reasonable attorney’s fees to the other party when that party prevails in any action . . . with respect to the contract.

Transforming Unilateral Provisions into Reciprocal Provisions

§ 57.105(7), Fla. Stat:

The effect of section 57.105(7) is to “transform a unilateral attorney’s fees contract provision into a reciprocal provision.” Bank of N.Y. Mellon Tr. Co., N.A. v. Fitzgerald, 215 So. 3d 116, 119 (Fla. 3d DCA 2017); Levy v. Levy, 326 So. 3d 678, 681 (Fla. 2021) (“Where a unilateral provision is involved, the statute transforms the one-sided provision into a reciprocal provision.”).

Utilizing § 57.105(7) in Fee Disputes

Therefore, if you’re dealing with a contract that has a unilateral fee provision, you can argue, in a fee dispute, that that provision applies to both parties, pursuant to § 57.105(7), Fla. Stat.

For more information regarding attorney fee disputes in contract cases, contact one of our experienced contract attorneys at 305-570-2208. You can also email our lead attorney Eduardo directly at

We at Ayala Law PA are passionate about helping those in legal need, so please don’t hesitate to schedule a case evaluation with us online here.

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