No problem Sir, that will be 25%

If you have read my previous post, “No Win No Fee – the Facts”, you should have a general idea of exactly what is meant by a No Win No Fee Agreement.  If you have not, shame on you and I suggest that you go and read it before reading this one any further.

At present a Solicitor can fund a case on a “Conditional Fee Agreement”, which is what people refer to as a “No Win No Fee Agreement”.  In basic terms, the Solicitor does not charge the client anything for the work done in the hope that when they win the case they will then receive payment of their costs by the Defendant, which is the usual rule in litigation.  If the Solicitor does not win the case they get paid nothing at all.

To compensate the Solicitor both for the delay in being paid, which could be several years, and the fact that they have valiantly taken on risk to protect their client, the Solicitor can charge a success fee of up to 100% if they win the case.  This means the winning Solicitor can charge the Defendant his basic hourly rate costs along with an extra enhancement representing a percentage of that rate.  What percentage the success fee claimed will be depends on whether the matter is settled prior to the issue of proceedings, when it will be lower or fixed, or whether it is litigated to a trial, where it can be up to 100%.

Of course, the represented client does not really care about the success fee percentage because they do not have to pay it.  The lawyers will be left to argue what should be paid long after the successful Claimant is sipping his first Margarita.  As long as he or she does not have to pay any legal costs they are happy.

Well prepared to be unhappy people ofBritain, because the situation is changing!  The Government is bringing in new legislation which will stop you being able to claim the success fee from the other side, even if the case is won.  That means that the percentage uplift will be paid out of your damages.   Suddenly, the percentage success fee begins to look a lot more important.

 How much of the success fee is charged to the client will remain to be seen but make no bones about it, this marks a huge change in the future of personal injury litigation.

David Mayor

About David Mayor

David is Head of the Preston Office's Civil Litigation team and deals with all types of private Civil Court disputes. David’s blogs cover his expertise in all aspects of personal injury law from low value Road Traffic Accidents right through to complex large loss claims. David also writes and has a vast array of experience in Public Liability (trips and slips), Employer's Liability (accidents at work), and Motor Claims (motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents).
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