Duncan Lewis

Family Law

know matters can be both

highly sensitive and confusing

“No win no fee”

Date: (6 December 2012)    |    

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As the phrase suggests in the legal parlance it is used for services provided where the fee is payable only if there is a favourable result. in law it could be defined as a fee charged for a lawyer’s services in the event of a successful out come of a suit or if there is a favourable settlement out side the court. In US it’s called contingent fee.
‘No win no fee’ is generally used in English legal system, which would mean a conditional fee agreement between the lawyer and the client. While taking up the case under the agreed conditions a solicitor would accept to take up a case knowing well that if the case is lost he would not be entitled to any fee. But if the outcome of the case is favourable one then the lawyer would be entitled to the normal fee that he / she charge and could include an additional success fee. The success fee in the UK may not exceed 100 percent of the normal fee. But most of the English law firms and lawyer take only 25 to 50 percent of success fee.
Why hire a No win no fee” lawyer!
It’s obvious that not all clients especially the poor would be able to afford cases of claims as it would involve spending lots of money even before the client knows his chances of success in his case. So to, it would be easier for the poor to pursue their civil rights. A case accepted by a no win no fee lawyer in itself be an assurance that your case has fair chance of getting a favourable result, as a lawyer would not take it in the first place unless he is sure of the merits of the case.
A client is not charged a lawyer fees if he loses the case. If the client recovers damages from settlement or a favorable verdict, the attorney receives the fee from the recovery. The attorney's permitted fee varies depending on the country, and even local jurisdictions.
Which cases come under the ‘no win no fee’ category?
Mostly cases where claims of compensation or damages are involved like workers claim, compensation claims, motor vehicle claims and medical negligence cases. The ‘no win no fee’ is generally not available for non-compensation claim cases such as family and employment law or commercial litigation.
In some cases though like in complex medical law claims with the no win no fee some law firms may ask you to contribute upfront cost of the initial investigative reports which may come for a discussion before a case is accepted by the firm.
How to hire?
Any lawyer or firm dealing with compensation / damages cases would provide you a no win no fee agreement but before that they would make a proper assessment of the case and would consider all alternatives with regards to your settlement statements and seek some vital information before accepting the case.
But do remember to make an arrangement with your lawyer so as to make your agreement legally enforceable.