A contingent fee is a type of fee that is contingent on success.
This means that if a lawyer is successful in getting you money on your case, they get paid their legal fees. However, if they are unable to recover any money for you in your case, you do not owe the lawyer any fees. Thus, the fee is “contingent” on a successful result for the client. This essentially makes the lawyer and the client partners in the case; the more money the client gets, the more money the lawyer gets, if the client does not get any money, the lawyer does not get any money.