The idea behind a No Win No Fee Agreement (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement) is that – save in exceptional circumstances – you are only liable to pay our charges if you win the case. If you lose the case, we will not make any charge for the work which we have carried out on your behalf.
How does the No Win No Fee Scheme work?
Before signing the No Win No Fee Agreement, we will provide you with a detailed description of how it works. In brief, however, there is nothing for you to pay as the claim progresses. If you lose the case, you do not have to pay anything towards our charges. If you win the case, then we charge a success fee, which is deducted from your compensation. The maximum amount which will be deducted from your compensation towards our charges will be one quarter of your compensation. It used to be the case that this success fee was payable by the party against whom the claim is made, but the law changed in 2013 so that the success fee must now be deducted from compensation instead.
Would I have to pay anything towards your charges if the claim fails?
As long as you co-operate with the claim, and do not abandon it against our advice, we will not ask you to pay anything towards our charges if the claim fails. You would have to pay disbursements (the money which we have to pay to other people for medical reports, medical records, etc) but we can arrange legal expenses insurance for you which would cover these disbursements so there would then be nothing at all to pay if the claim should fail.
How is the success fee calculated?
The way in which the success fee is calculated is set out in the No Win No Fee Agreement. If you consider our charges to be too high, then you can ask for them to be assessed. We will explain the procedure for this when we run through the No Win No Fee Agreement with you.
Do I need to take out legal expenses insurance?
We recommend that legal expenses insurance is taken out if you do not have it already. The insurance covers disbursements and would also protect you against paying the other side’s charges if you turn down an offer of settlement which is later found to have been reasonable.
In order to simplify matters, can you summarise in a sentence or two what the scheme is likely to mean to me in practice?
If we act for you on a No Win No Fee basis with legal expenses insurance cover, then – as long as you co-operate with the claim – you will not have to pay us a penny if the claim fails. If the claim succeeds, then the most you would have to pay towards our charges would be 25% of your compensation and it may be significantly less than this.