No-win, no-fee agreements are another name for Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs). These have been available in the UK since 1995, and mean that your lawyer only receives their fee if you are successful in your compensation claim.
They have become popular for people making personal injury claims, but they have developed something of a dubious reputation over the years. However, this reputation is not justified because they enable normal people without access to lots of money to get access to justice, and are therefore a very good thing.
The Situation When You Lose
The name no-win, no-fee is a little bit misleading because many people may think that if they make an accident claim and lose, they won’t have to pay anything. However, the ‘no-fee’ refers specifically to the lawyer’s fee, which you will not have to pay.
Despite not having to pay your lawyer’s fee, you may have to pay the costs of the winning party, which can include legal fees and disbursements, such as court fees. For this reason you are often advised to take out a type of insurance policy known as ‘after the event’ insurance, or ATE insurance.
The Situation When You Win
If you win then your lawyer will take their fee from the losing party, and you will get to keep your compensation. The losing party will also have to pay for the disbursements. The lawyer used to charge a success fee to the losing party, but they are no longer able to do this because of a change in the law. Now, you may have to pay this success fee out of your compensation, so this is something that you will need to keep in mind when you make a claim, and you should find out from your lawyer exactly how much this will be. You will also have to pay the premium for your ATE insurance because you are no longer allowed to charge the losing party for this.
Know What Is Involved with No-Win, No-Fee Claims
Hiring a lawyer on a no-win, no-fee basis can be a very good way to ensure that your risks are reduced when you make a claim. However, it is a good idea to know exactly what is involved before you make your claim so that you know what you could be liable to pay. Your lawyer should always explain the details to you very clearly before you agree to make a claim, so make sure you are completely comfortable with the situation before you decide to hire your lawyer to make a claim.