What's No Win, No Fee?
You may already have suffered a personal injury, financial loss due to a negligent professional or be injured due to a negligent doctor, therefore the costs of taking legal action to recover damages is likely to be one of your first thoughts.
At Robert James Solicitors, we understand these concerns and our aim is to be open and transparent regarding our fees. We therefore agree that where a claim meets our acceptance criteria, we will offer you a no win, no fee agreement.
What is a No Win No Fee Agreement?
A no win, no fee agreement is a contract between a solicitor and a client for the provision of legal services. The term no win, no fee is used to describe a contract, which is called a conditional fee agreement, or CFA for short.
For us to offer you a conditional fee agreement, we must agree that it is more likely than not, that your case will be successful. In percentage terms, this means that your case must have prospects of success in excess of 50%.
Under our conditional fee agreement, you are not required to pay us anything for our costs up front and we will defer all disbursements such as medical/expert reports, court fees, medical records, barrister's fee etc. until the conclusion of the case or until we receive an interim payment in respect of the same.
If your claim is unsuccessful and you have followed our advice and fully co-operated with us, you will not have to pay any of our legal costs or disbursements. If, however you mislead us or provide us with false information, the terms of the CFA would have been breached and you could become liable for our costs and any disbursements incurred in your case.
All accepted cases will be offered an After the Event insurance policy to ensure that any risks associated with pursuing a claim are fully insured against the possibility that you may become liable for your opponent's costs and/or fail to recover your disbursements. This will be explained to you by your solicitor when we discuss your claim.
On claims instigated before April 2013, solicitors could charge a success fee if your claim was successful and the defendant would be liable to pay this success fee. This was changed by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2013, which stated that the success fee was no longer recoverable from the defendant (the other party), instead these became payable by claimant's out of their damages.
When we accept your case, we complete a risk assessment to determine the level at which your success fee is set. In doing so, we consider a multitude of factors that in our experience equate to risks in your case, such as the liability position, risks associated with offers in settlement and risks of adverse cost orders, amongst others.
We also consider that your case may lose altogether and that we may not get paid at all. In return for us taking the risk of not getting paid if your case is unsuccessful, we will charge a success fee if you win your case. The level of success fee is determined by the complexity of your claim.
The success fee cannot be more than 100%. In a claim involving personal injury, the success fee is capped at a maximum of 25% of your claim for damages; however, in an action involving professional negligence the maximum cap is 100%.
You should note, in some cases an early risk assessment may not be possible, due to lack of information and the actual risk assessment may only be done once the evidential picture becomes clearer.
When will I pay the success fee?
Success fees are generally paid at the conclusion of your case upon receipt of your final damages; however, if you receive interim payments, we may make deductions in respect of the success fee and/or disbursements from interim payments you receive throughout the case.
We may end the CFA at any time and charge costs at our retainer rate:
- If have been found to be making a fraudulent claim.
- If you fail to co-operate with us and this compromises the outcome of your claim.
- If the prospect of your claim succeeding falls below 50%.