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.


Free Wills Month in October image

Free Wills Month in October

Maples are pleased to announce that they are taking part in Free Wills Month throughout October. If you are aged 55 or over you can make your Will for free and have the opportunity to help one or more of the sponsoring charities in the process. Appointments are limited in number and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

For further details please contact a member of our Wills and Probate Department:-

Jane Mawer- jane.mawer@maplessolicitors.com
Jamie Dobbs- jamie.dobbs@maplessolicitors.com
Faye Blair- faye.blair@maplessolcitors.com

Or telephone the office 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team.

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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"

James Turner BA

James Turner was extremely helpful with our buying process. Everything went smoothly. We are very happy with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the office. Highly recommended solicitors. Will definitely do business with them again.

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.

Donna Sandison FCILEx

Donna has been helpful and professional every step of the way during the process. Always on hand to answer any queries and totally professional and friendly at all times.