No win no fee is a widely used promise by personal injury lawyers – but do you know what it actually means in terms of how you can be charged, if at all?
A “No Win No Fee” is commonly the basis of your entire legal agreement so it is important to know exactly what you are getting into. For a little advice on what it means in relation to when you may actually be charged, read on!
The basics of a No Win no Fee
Another name that lawyers use for the no win, no fee is a document called the ‘Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)‘ which is usually included in the initial paperwork you have with a law firm. The idea behind no win, no fee is an easy one – if the case is unsuccessful then there are no bills for you to pay. So you won’t be charged for your lawyer’s legal fees or the disbursements that they have spent on your case (such as medical reports or barristers fees). Seems simple enough right?
But when is a case successful? A case is successful when either you are awarded compensation by the courts or if your case is settled outside of court. Settlement is when you reach an agreed figure with the Defendant that they agree to pay you for your injuries and losses. So if your case loses at court or your lawyers are forced to discontinue your claim because there are no prospects, then the claim is usually determined as unsuccessful and there should be no fee.
Circumstances when “no win no fee” means there may be fees to pay!
The Conditional Fee Agreements of individual law firms can vary, but typical they usually contain the below provisions of when you can be charged for your lawyers legal fees and disbursements, regardless of whether your case has been unsuccessful. These are:
Cancelling your instructions
Failure to co-operate/ provide instructions.
Acting contrary to advice
So long as you see your claim through to the end, are open and honest with your solicitor and heed the advice of the personal injury experts who are dealing with your case, your claim should proceed without any issue. If your claim is unfortunately unsuccessful then you and your lawyers can part ways amicably, and the no win, no fee should stand true. This means you should not be charged.
What to do next!
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IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.