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.


Who Will You Be Entrusting With Your Conveyancing? image

Who Will You Be Entrusting With Your Conveyancing?

WHO WILL YOU BE ENTRUSTING WITH YOUR CONVEYANCING WORK?  THE CHOICE IS YOURS!

Are the selling agents or perhaps the mortgage broker pushing or trying to persuade you to use a particular conveyancing firm? If so, we would strongly recommend that you ask the following pertinent questions so that, armed with all relevant facts, you are better able to make a reasoned decision:-

Why?

Are the agents receiving a kickback or referral payment from the firm concerned? Using a firm in cahoots with an estate agency inevitably leads to a potential conflict of interest. Will such firm be working in your best interests or simply those of the introducer? Here at Maples we pride ourselves on being completely independent and we consider the idea of a referral fee both abhorrent and unethical. We much prefer to obtain our work based on past performance and recommendation.

How Much?

Do not be misled by a seemingly attractive basic figure initially quoted but be sure to enquire about and read the small print for add ons for so called “extras” (such as mortgage costs, preparation of a stamp duty land tax return, telegraphic transfer fees and the like) which suddenly spring up at a later date and only become apparent in the firm’s final statement. Ensure that you are comparing like for like. Here at Maples, we give you a complete and all inclusive rundown of our professional charges and all disbursements at the outset, with no hidden extras.

Where?

Is the firm local or, as is more likely, based in a completely different part of the country? If the latter, then the transaction will, without a doubt, be dealt with by post, phone or email and lack any personal contact. Here at Maples we are fully accessible, like to meet our clients to discuss and advise upon the transaction face to face and share with you the benefit of our wealth of local knowledge and experience.

Who?

Will you actually be aware as to who will be dealing with the matter for you or will you simply be a reference or matter number at the end of a phone in a firm dealing with volume conveyancing? Here at Maples, you will be assigned to your own experienced and dedicated conveyancer who will be responsible for and deal with the transaction for you from beginning to end, with a high level of personal service throughout.

Making a hasty and bad appointment could seriously prejudice or delay your transaction and cost you dearly. Getting honest answers to these four simple questions at the outset could make all the difference.

To discuss any Conveyancing matters please contact either Claire Smith or Anita Zaborniak of our Conveyancing Team or telephone the office 01775 722261.

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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

"I felt the service I got from Maples was excellent and was very honest all through the process. I would recommend Maples as a first class Solicitors group"

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

This is the second time we have used Mike Pepper at Maples Solicitors in the sale of our house. We cannot praise Mike enough for the highly efficient and professional service that he has provided us with. He is by far the best solicitor we have ever worked with, and the service that he has provided us with has gone far and beyond anything we have ever experienced. We have found the whole process to be a very relaxing experience.

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!

Anita Zaborniak

We found it a pleasure to deal with Anita Zaborniak, she was most helpful and informative and kept us up to date with the progress of the purchase of our new home. If we were to move again we wouldn’t hesitate to use Maples again.