Is it typical for Lawyers to ask for payment in the form of a percentage of mineral rights?

Our long story is this. We were contacted by an Oilman in 2010 regarding land and mineral rights that we are heir to in Panola county TX. My mother became sick and we didn’t take any action. It turns out that Enerlex contacted my mom’s step-sister in 2010 who stated she was the last surviving heir and sold the said mineral rights to Enerlex. Flash forward to last month. I was contacted (my mom has since passed) by two different oilmen. One was interested in helping us settle our the titles for 50% of past and future royalties. The other oilman wanted to help settle the titles and lease the land for $400 per mineral acre. This week I discovered the Mineral Sale Deed that indicates our step-aunt sold our mineral rights. My question follows this part of the story. I contacted a lawyer in Tyler TX to ask if we could refute the mineral sale given our step-aunt falsely claimed to to be the last living heir. The lawyer said we do have a case. When asked about ball park cost of the lawyer fees he said he would ask for a percentage of proceeds if he won plus a percentage of our mineral rights. It that normal? That seems odd to me. If it is customary, what would be a fair percentage for proceeds and mineral rights as payment for lawyer services? If this is not usual and fair practice does anyone have a recommendation for a lawyer familiar with mineral rights title issues?

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The Directories tab above has several attorneys licensed for Texas who are mineral savvy.

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Contingent fees are allowed. It may be that recovery of funds alone are not sufficient to justify litigation. If you do not have cash to pay the attorney, this may be a good option. Your risk is that the attorney will be overcompensated, the attorney’s risk is that he/she will be under compensated. That being said it is advisable to seek another attorney.

Thank you for your reply. If contingent fees are allowed please share your thoughts about seeking another attorney. Thank you.

While it is legal for the attorney to ask for these fees, it is not customary. I would look for a new attorney, this one sounds pretty shady.


Thank you. My family and I decided against the attorney who requested this form of payment. We too felt it seemed shady.

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