What is a No Win, No Fee agreement
A ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement is a contract between a solicitor and a client, who is pursuing a civil claim. If the claim is unsuccessful, then there should be no (or very little) cost to the client. It is possible that some such agreements may have conditions attached, so you should make sure you are clear where you stand before you proceed with your claim. At Truth Legal, we will always be honest with you and explain up front the terms of your agreement with us.
No Win, No Fee in personal injury, clinical negligence and industrial disease claims
‘No Win, No Fee’ agreements are quite common in claims for personal injury, clinical negligence and industrial disease. Often, a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement is the best way to fund such a claim. When one of our specialist solicitors has assessed your claim and suggests proceeding on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis, it means that they have analysed the key facts of the case and decided that the claim is very likely to be successful. Very few solicitors will offer ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreements in cases they think they are not going to win, as they are unlikely to get paid!
At Truth Legal, we give a great deal of our time away for free as part of our commitment to being an ethical solicitor’s practice, but it makes no sense – either for us or for our clients – for us to offer a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement for a claim which is unlikely to be successful.
In personal injury, clinical negligence and industrial disease claims, as long as the claim is not ‘fundamentally dishonest’ the claimant should not have to pay the other side’s costs (no matter how much they are) even if the claim is unsuccessful. This is because claimants are usually protected by the doctrine of ‘Qualified One-Way Cost Shifting’. In some cases, we recommend that our clients take out After The Events insurance. This offers our clients an extra degree of protection. We will advise you on whether you need After The Events insurance.
Our usual charge, after a successful claim by one of our personal injury clients, is capped at 25% of the compensation, inclusive of VAT. A solicitor is prohibited from deducting their fees from any future losses claim, so in a higher value claim, a solicitor is unlikely to be able to deduct the full 25% of the compensation to pay for legal fees.
In personal injury claims, After The Events insurance, if taken out, is usually paid for by the client in the event that the claim is successful. In the event that the claim is successful, then a solicitor is also likely to be paid a fee from the losing side.
Whatever your financial situation, a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement is usually the best way to fund a claim for personal injury, clinical negligence or industrial disease, though some Legal Expenses Insurance funding might be appropriate too.
No Win, No Fee Employment Claims
At Truth Legal we are proud that we are one of a small number of law firms which will offer No Win, No Fee agreements to pursue employment law claims. We will usually spend some time considering your claim and its value before deciding whether to offer a No Win, No Fee agreement.
Usually we charge 35% of the compensation inclusive of VAT for employment law representation. On top of this, you would need to pay for any disbursements, if any are needed. If an employment claim settles quickly, then the fee to the solicitor may appear high, however, if the claim goes to trial and is successful, then the rate of pay her hour can be extremely low (often less than £20 per hour), because the legal fees do not reflect what work is carried out. In an Employment Tribunal, it is highly unusual that a successful claimant will be awarded legal fees from a losing Respondent.
In an Employment Law scenario, if a Claimant has Legal Expenses Insurance, then this is usually preferential to using a No Win, No Fee agreement because there would be no deduction from the compensation to pay legal fees, and all disbursements are usually paid for by the insurer.
No Win, No Fee professional negligence claims
In claims against professionals, such as claims against solicitors for errors that they have made when running your personal injury claims, Truth Legal may offer you a No Win, No Fee agreement to pursue your claim, if you do not have the benefit of Legal Expenses Insurance. Like with all No Win, No Fee agreements, we will usually only offer one to you if we are of the view that after analysing all the available information that you have a good case.
Depending on the circumstances of your professional negligence claim brought using a No Win, No Fee agreement, you may not have to pay for any disbursements (other than After The Events insurance), and that the maximum deduction there will be from your compensation is 25% to pay for legal fees.
General points about No Win, No Fee agreements
Be advised, that a solicitor using a No Win, No Fee agreement can withdraw from the claim if the prospects of success fall. Therefore, if you want much more control over the claim, you may wish to pay for legal fees yourself. In personal injury, clinical negligence and industrial disease claims (amongst other claims), if you win your claim, you usually get awarded some of your legal costs back from the other side.
Also, if a Claimant has been unreasonable or dishonest with their solicitor, then most No Win, No Fee agreements would allow the solicitor to terminate the agreement and to bill their client for all the work that they have undertaken.
Because at Truth Legal your claim will always be handled by a specialist solicitor who is familiar with all the details of your claim, we can give you the right advice on how best to proceed, advising you whether a No Win, No Fee agreement is right for you and for us. You can call us today at our head office in Harrogate (our London, York and Manchester offices are unmanned but we can arrange to meet you there).
If you would like to know more about how ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreements work, or you would like to know if one is right for you, then contact us now!