A Guide To Understanding No Win No Fee
With the exception of family or criminal matters, many civil claims are eligible for a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA's), commonly known as 'no win,
The most common use of no win no fee agreements are compensation claims for personal injury. This can include injuries arising out of; accidents at
work, road traffic accidents, slips and trips, medical negligence claims and industrial disease claims.
Government statistics estimate 2.5 million people in the UK are injured in accidents every year. However, less than a third of these enquire about
making a compensation claim. Many do not know what a no win no fee agreement is, and even more misunderstand the protection it provides and
ramifications to you as a client.
For many years Legal aid for Civil Claims had been roundly criticised due to the qualifying limit being so low that only a few were able to bring claims
to the courts. No win no fee was introduced in the Courts and Legal Services Act of 1990 to accompany the legal aid system. CFA's finally replaced
legal aid for all but a few actionable cases (eg medical negligence) in 2000. It is now the only way to bring a claim to court without funding it privately.
A Solicitor will first assess the merits of your claim, When they are satisfied of the strength of your claim and that your prospects of success are high,
they may offer to represent you on a 'No Win, No Fee' basis.
The CFA will require the claimant to pay the Solicitors fees if the case is won, although the fees are normally recovered from the losing party. The
Solicitor in agreeing to take on your case under a CFA takes a risk as he is not paid if the claim fails. To encourage Solicitors to take risks they are
entitled to an extra fee (a success fee). Again this is paid in whole or part by the losing party.
You will however, still require funding for your claim to cover the other costs accrued such as your opponent's Solicitor's fees, and disbursement costs,
(ie court fees, medical reports, barristers fees)