Personal Injury - Legal Costs and Success Fees

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10 November, 2022

John Bennett

The Law Society Gazette has reported on the outcome of the Court of Appeal case of Belsner. Darya Belsner instructed Cam Legal services to pursue a Road traffic injury claim. They recovered £1,916.98 by way of damages and deducted 25% of the award (£385.50) as a contribution towards their costs and paid the balance to the claimant. The claimant later issued a Part 8 application asking that the firm of solicitors deliver a final statute bill. The statute bill came to a figure higher than the damages. However the solicitors only deducted the £385.50. The High Court held the client had not been advised about the deduction and they were ordered to make a refund. The Solicitors took the case to the Court of Appeal and won. Darya Belsner was ordered to pay the money back.

This case is a good example of how many Solicitors deal with costs and deductions when conducting accident claims.

At Forbes Solicitors, we operate a fixed fee, no win, no fee scheme, for whiplash injury claims valued at less than £5,000. We charge £700 plus VAT.

In other cases, where the claim is worth more than £5,000, we operate on a, no win, no fee basis and claim our base costs from the losing party. We limit our Success fee to 15%, 10% less than the maximum solicitors are allowed to charge. In Clinical Negligence we charge a 15% success fee.

If the Claimant is a child or under a disability, lacking capacity to manage their financial affairs, we will not charge a success fee.

If the injury claim is likely to be worth more than £1,000 and you are a "vulnerable road user":

  • Motor cyclist or pillion passenger
  • Cyclist
  • Pedestrian
  • Horse rider
  • Using a mobility scooter at the time of the accident
  • An undischarged bankrupt
  • The Claimant or Defendant is deceased
  • The Defendant's vehicle registered outside UK

We operate on a, no win, no fee basis and claim our base costs from the losing party. We limit our success fee to 15%.

Contrary to the common misconception, the success fee cannot exceed the amount of costs recoverable from the opponent. Future losses and deductible benefits must be ignored. The success fee only applies to the past loss.

By way of example. If total damages are £10,000. If £5,000 of that represents past losses, as at the date of settlement, and the remaining £5,000 represents future losses, the success fee would be £750. If, however the case settled quickly and the costs are limited to £600, then the success fee would be limited to 100% of those fees i.e. £600. If the costs were £2,000 then the success fee would be limited to 15% of the past loss i.e. £750

This formula applies to all types of case where costs are recoverable form the opponent.

If you, a friend or family member have suffered an injury as a result of someone else's fault, whether that be at work, on the road, in the street, in a medical or dental setting please contact us for some no win no fee, no obligation advice.

For more information contact John Bennett in our Personal Injury department via email or phone on 01254 872111. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Personal Injury department here

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