In the English legal system, it is generally referred as no win no fee.
A conditional fee agreement between a law firm and a client. The usual form of this agreement is that the solicitor will take a law case on the understanding that if lost, no payment is made.
However, if the case is won, the lawyer will be entitled to the normal fee based on hourly billing, plus a success fee. The success fee in England must be as a percentage no greater than 100% of the normal fee.
This makes it easier for the less well off to pursue their claims. Otherwise, to sue someone you must first be wealthy enough to pursue such a case in the first place. However, because of the high risk, only a few solicitors will take cases on this basis unless they feel the case has good merit.
What does it mean??
“No win no fee” does not mean “no win no cost”. This is a commonly made mistake.
In short “no win no fee” is the commonly referred to term for a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). CFA’s came about in 1995 with the end of the legal aid system being available for Personal Injury cases. It is now at the discretion of a solicitor whether they take the case on a CFA or “no win no fee” basis. CFA’s have allowed everyone to have the potential to access compensation through the legal system, rich and poor!
• No win no fee or a CFA is the agreement between a client and their solicitor.
• No win no fee is the conditional agreement that if the client does not win their case then the solicitor does not charge the client any fee.
• If you win your claim, your solicitor earns their fee and usually a success fee (bonus) from the opposing party, typically an insurance company. You should also keep 100% of any compensation sum awarded to you!
• Also any other costs like private medical examination bills or court fee’s are also paid by the losing party.
• If you lose your case you may be liable for the opposing parties costs including but not limited to court fee’s and solicitors charges. Your solicitor should be able to arrange whats known as an “After Event” Insurance which will cover this risk for a premium to be paid by you or your solicitor. Make sure you ask about this but in any event your solicitor if acting in a proper fashion will make you aware of this too!
• An “After Event” Insurance policy covers your risk in losing your case.
However, like everyone else, solicitors don’t like working for free and losing cases. If they do not believe they can win a case and get compensation they will not usually take the case on a ‘no win no fee’ basis.
Your specialist solicitor must provide you with certain pieces of information at different stages of a claim for a No Win No Fee agreement to be valid.