What is a “No Win No Fee” Agreement?

30th October 2013
What is a “No Win No Fee” Agreement? image

What is a “No Win No Fee” Agreement?

Introduction

There are two types of “no win no fee” agreements, namely Conditional Fee Agreements (“CFAs”) and Damages Based Agreements (“DBAs”).

Currently at Maples we are only able to offer CFAs in personal injury claims.

What is a CFA?

This is an agreement between the solicitor and the client which in effect means that only if the claim is successful will the client be responsible for his solicitor’s costs.  If the claim is lost then save for expenses such as medical report fees, the client will not have to pay his own solicitor any money.

If the case is won then the client is liable to the solicitor for his costs (although usually the successful party will get an Order for at least some if not most of his costs to be paid by the losing party), and the solicitor is entitled to charge a success fee in addition to his normal fees. The success fee in effect is the solicitor’s reward for taking the risk of losing and not getting paid.  It is usually stated as a percentage mark-up or enhancement of the normal fees.

Expenses/Disbursements

As stated above even if the case is lost, the client will still be liable for expenses and disbursements such as experts’ fees, medical report fees and in certain cases Barristers’ fees. However in certain circumstances Barristers may also be willing to act under a CFA, so they too are only paid by the client in the event of a win.

The Success Fee

As stated above if the solicitor wins the case he can charge a success fee to the client, as well as his normal fees.

In person injury claims the success fee is often fixed by rules, and in straight forward road traffic accident cases for example it is usually 12.5% of the normal fees if the case is concluded before Trial and 100% of the normal fees if the case is concluded after Trial.

If the CFA was entered into prior to the 1st April 2013 then the success fee can be recovered in whole or part from the other side in the event of a win.  However for agreements from the 1st April 2013 onwards, save in limited circumstances (e.g. asbestosis type claims) the success fee is not recoverable from the other side and the client shall remain liable for it in the event of a win subject to a cap of 25% of certain parts of the compensation obtained for the client.

What does the client pay if he/she loses?

The client will not have to pay his own solicitor’s fees save for any expenses/disbursements as stated above.  However it is likely that the client will have to pay some or most of the other party’s (i.e. the winner’s) costs, which might be quite substantial.

Protection against paying the costs of the other side

It is possible to protect a client’s position so far as losing and paying the other side’s costs are concerned, by getting after the event (“ATE”) insurance.

There will be a premium involved, which is not recoverable from the other party even if the case is won.   The client may have to fund this himself, or sometimes it is possible to get a deferred and self-insured premium so that it does not have to be paid until the end of the case and possibly not at all unless the client wins the case and gets compensation.

The main advantages of a CFA

It enables the solicitor and the client to share the risks and costs of litigation. 

If the case is lost, the client might only have to pay expenses/disbursements.

The main disadvantage of a CFA

If the case is won, then in addition to the normal costs of the solicitor (to the extent that these costs are not recovered from the other party), the client will also have to pay the success fee subject to any cap.

Free Half Hour Interview

At Maples we can offer you a free half hour interview during which we can not only assess the merits of any personal claim that you may have, but we can also consider your eligibility for a CFA and whether or not it is the most suitable method of funding for your case.

If you want further advice about a personal injury claim and or a CFA, then please contact Daven Naghen on 01775 722261 or email daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com or write to us at Maples Solicitors LLP 23 New Road Spalding Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.


How Banks are Cashing in on Wills image

How Banks are Cashing in on Wills

Recent headlines have reported how banks are now cashing in on Wills.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, banks offered customers low cost Wills (or sometimes even free Wills) but the small print allowed the bank to charge extortionate rates to act as Executors. It is reported that banks are expecting billions of pounds of revenue from their Will writing services and administering estates and in some cases their fees have been over £12,000 to administer an estate as they look to charge a fixed fee PLUS a percentage of the deceased’s wealth.

If you or a loved one has made a Will through a bank we would urge you to check who you have appointed as Executors and check any small print which you may have signed. If you are unsure then please speak with one of our lawyers in the Wills and Probate team who can look at your existing Will with you. It may be appropriate to make a new Will which revokes any previous Will you have made which could save your family thousands of pounds when your estate needs to be administered.

In the majority of cases, when someone has passed away we can provide the family with a quote of how much the legal fees will be so that there are no nasty surprises once the administration is complete.

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Testimonials

Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs ACILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Claire Smith FCILEx

Claire Smith has been amazing in every way. I highly recommend her and I am so grateful for all her help. She’s professional on all levels, reliable, extremely organised and I will be recommending her to everyone. I’m very lucky to have had her representing me and I can’t thank her enough. She is an asset to Maples. Thanks so much Claire!