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80.43 Fees and costs.

Section 102.26 , Stats., provides for a maximum attorney's fee of 20% of the amount in dispute. Section 102.26 (3) , Stats., places upon the department the responsibilities for fixing the fee and providing for the direct payment of the fee. In the exercise of this responsibility, the department shall take into account the following considerations:

(1) The department shall balance the need to preserve the maximum amount of benefits for the injured employee and the need for fees which are sufficient to insure adequate representation for claimants under ch. 102 , Stats.
(2) Fees shall not be allowed on medical expenses to the extent that other sources, such as group insurance, are available to pay such expenses.
(3) Fees for permanent total disability shall not be allowed on compensation awards due beyond 500 weeks.
(4) The existence of a dispute under s. 102.26 (2) , Stats., is dependent upon a disagreement after the employer or insurer has had adequate time and information to take a position on liability. Neither the holding of a hearing nor the filing of an application for a hearing alone may determine the existence of a dispute. However, a finding that a dispute exists shall not be precluded by an employer's or insurer's purposeful inactivity on the issue of liability.
(5) Where representation is the result of the representative's employment by an insurance carrier, an employer, a union, a social service agency or a public agency, the representative may not charge a fee on a contingency basis.
(6) Where there has been successive representation by various representatives, the division of fees by the department shall take into account the relative value of the services performed by each representative, any concessions of disability, offers of settlement and other matters.
(7) Where a claimant appears by an attorney of record any fee shall be payable to such attorney regardless of the cooperation or involvement of agents or other non-;attorneys. The division of such fee with agents or other non-;attorneys shall be at the discretion of the attorney of record. If there is disagreement among successive attorneys the department will make appropriate apportionment of any or all fees for services.

History: Cr. Register, September, 1982, No. 321 , eff. 10-;1-;82; cr. (7), Register, September, 1986, No. 369 , eff. 10-;1-;86.

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