Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Workers' Compensation Board

Rule Rule 438-015-0010
General Principles


Attorney fees for an attorney representing a claimant before the Board or its Hearings Division shall be authorized only if an executed attorney retainer agreement has been filed with the Administrative Law Judge or Board.


Attorney fees for an attorney representing a claimant shall be paid out of the claimant’s compensation award except as provided by ORS 656.262 (Processing of claims and payment of compensation)(11)(a), ORS 656.307 (Determination of issues regarding responsibility for compensation payment), 656.382 (Penalties and attorney fees payable by insurer or employer in processing claim), 656.383 (Attorney fees in cases prior to decision or after request for hearing) and 656.386 (Recovery of attorney fees, expenses and costs in appeal on denied claim).


An approved fee awarded or allowed to an attorney representing a claimant shall be a lien upon the claimant’s compensation.


In any case where an Administrative Law Judge or the Board is required to determine a reasonable attorney fee, the following factors shall be considered:


The time devoted to the case for legal services;


The complexity of the issue(s) involved;


The value of the interest involved;


The skill of the attorneys;


The nature of the proceedings;


The benefit secured for the represented party;
(g) The necessity of allowing the broadest access to attorneys by injured workers;
(h) The fees earned by attorneys representing the insurer/self-insured employer, as
compiled in the Director’s annual report under ORS 656.388 (Approval of attorney fees required)(7) of attorney salaries
and other costs of legal services incurred by insurers/self-insured employers pursuant
to ORS Chapter 656 (Workers’ Compensation);
(i) The risk in a particular case that an attorney’s efforts may go uncompensated;
(j) The contingent nature of the practice of workers’ compensation law;
(k) The assertion of frivolous issues or defenses; and
(l) Claimant’s counsel’s contingent hourly rate, if asserted, together with any information used to establish the basis upon which the rate was calculated.


Percentage limitations on fees established by these rules apply to the amount of compensation paid the claimant exclusive of medical, hospital or other expenses of treatment.

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021