back to Screen-Friendly page

Attorney/Client Fee Dispute Program

What is the Attorney/Client Fee Dispute Program?

This program provides a means for attorneys and clients to resolve a fee dispute and avoid the time and expense of taking a dispute to court. At issue is the amount of fees and/or costs the client must pay, or has already paid, to the attorney.


There is an administrative fee per party to pay for the cost of running this program (a percentage of the amount of the dispute). This covers up to four hours of fee dispute mediation and up to eight hours of arbitration time from our panel of experts. If more time is needed, there may be additional fees.

For a detailed description of the legal code that governs attorney/client fee disputes, download Business and Professions Code. (35KBPDF)

In general, BASF has jurisdiction in a fee dispute if:

  1. The Attorney or the law firm has an office in San Francisco;
  2. The Attorney or the law firm maintained an office in San Francisco at the time the services were rendered, or a substantial portion of the work for which fees were charged was performed in San Francisco;
  3. There is no local county bar association Arbitration Program available in the county in which the Attorney practices, and the Client resides in San Francisco (also, since Alameda, Contra Costa and Monterey Counties no longer have Fee Dispute programs, BASF can accept cases from those counties, if parties agree);
  4. The amount in dispute is over $1,000. This minimum amount does not apply, however, to a fee dispute between a Client and an Attorney who was referred by the Lawyer Referral & Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco.  

2016 NEW Rules of Procedure for matters submitted on or after January 1, 2016 (237KBPDFPDF)(3.A. & B.)


If you are a client filing a Fee Dispute, visit our client page.

If you are an attorney filing a Fee Dispute, visit our attorney page.