Most people have heard of no win, no fee, but not everybody understand exactly what it means. No win, no fee agreements are made between solicitors and clients for certain types of cases, such as those dealing with personal injury. They involve a solicitor agreeing to waive any fees unless a case is resolved successfully. This means that you don’t have to pay a thing if you don’t win your personal injury claim.
Will I have to pay solicitor’s fees?
It takes many years of study to become a solicitor, so solicitors understandably charge quite a lot of money for their time. In normal legal proceedings, you have to pay these fees regardless of the outcome. However, with no win, no fee agreements, you don’t have to pay anything unless a case is won. Furthermore, even if you do win a case, your solicitor can only take a maximum of 25% of the compensation awarded as a fee.
So, can I keep 100% of the compensation?
Until April 2013, most successful no win no fee claims resulted in the claimant keeping 100% of their compensation. However, with the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, this is no longer always the case. Injury lawyers can no longer claim their ‘success fee’ from the losing side, meaning it will be taken from the compensation you are awarded – up to a maximum of 25%.
Will I have to pay court costs?
In all legal proceedings, court costs are paid for by the party that loses. This means that if you win your case, the opposing side pays for any court costs. However, this also means that if you lose your case, you are liable for the legal costs of the other side. This rarely happens, as few no win, no fee solicitors will take on a case if they don’t have confidence that it will be successful. In addition, if a case does have to go to court, your solicitor may advise taking out an insurance policy to cover you for legal costs so that you don’t end up with a big legal bill if you lose.