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A Client Guide to Conditional Fee Agreements - Rundlewalker
WHAT IS A CONDITIONAL FEE AGREEMENT?
A conditional fee agreement is an agreement between a solicitor and his client, whereby the solicitor will be paid their fees only in specified circumstances.
In personal injury claims these agreements have become known as “No win, No fee” as in normal circumstances the client will not have to pay if they lose the case. If the case is successful the fees become payable.
WHY ARE SOLICITORS PREPARED TO ACT ON THAT BASIS?
If you win your claim, your solicitor is entitled to charge a “success fee” on top of normal fees. The “success fee” can be as high as 100% but we usually reduce this to 20%. The solicitor will calculate the success fee based on the potential risk involved in the claim.
WHO PAYS THE COSTS IF YOU WIN?
If you win your case you are liable to pay your solicitors costs to include basic costs, success fee and disbursements. You can, however, seek payment from the defendants and it will in most cases follow that if you win your case the defendants will also have to pay your reasonable legal costs and disbursements. Your solicitor would also deal with this aspect of the claim.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO PAY IF I LOSE?
You will not have to pay anything to your solicitor for their costs. You will have to pay disbursements, such as medical report fees and court fees but you can take out an After the Event Insurance policy to protect you if the claims fail and it will pay the disbursements.
In some circumstances your opponent would also be entitled to be paid his costs and again, the After the Event Insurance policy would provide protection. See "Legal Expenses Insurance explained" for more information.
IN WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES WILL I BE REQUIRED TO PAY?
If you have entered into a CFA with your solicitor, you have a duty to co-operate and to give them continued instructions. You must not provide misleading information. If you fail to meet any of your duties, your solicitor is entitled to seek payment of their basic charges.
PROTECTION IN RESPECT OF DISBURSEMENTS AND DEFENDANTS COSTS
It is possible to purchase “After the Event Insurance” to cover the risk. It usually has a deferred premium that is payable only if the claim succeeds. If you win you can also seek to recover the premium for the insurance from the Defendant. See "Legal Expenses Insurance explained" for more information.
Assessing the value of Compensation - what it means
If you have been injured as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to claim compensation. Generally you have three years from the date of the accident or knowledge of the injury in which to bring a claim.
Compensation can be claimed in respect of the actual injury sustained and pain and suffering together with any financial losses you have incurred as a result of the accident to include loss of earnings, travel expenses, medical expenses, etc.
Legal Expenses Insurance explained – why do you need it and how it works
Legal expenses insurance may cover your legal costs if you want to bring legal action following an accident or incident that was not your fault. The cost of taking legal action can be prohibitive. Without funds it is unlikely that you could afford to claim compensation if you were injured in an accident, unfairly dismissed from work or had a dispute with a tradesman. See "Legal Expenses Insurance explained" for more information.
For immediate, confidential and free advice, please contact our Personal Injury Team on 0800 015 2568.
Roger Henderson - 01392 209218. Email: email@example.com
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