What is a no win no fee agreement

There is a lot of talk about ‘no win-no fee’ agreements (also known as conditional fee agreements) and, if you read the newspapers and listen to the radio, they appear to be some form of devious device that allows solicitors to print money.

Sadly, this is not the case and what they are is a fair and reasonable way of acting for an injured party in a personal injury or similar type of claim.

Claims can be funded by:       

Private funding  – i.e. you pay your solicitor upfront and, if you lose the case, sorry, but your don’t get your money back
Legal Expense Insurance – this is a policy that may be attached to another insurance policy you have that provides funding for your claim, sounds good but there can be drawbacks.
Trade Union backing – fine if you are in a trade union, not so helpful if you are not.

If you are unable or unwilling to use any of the above they you may chose to use a ‘no win – no fee’ agreement to pursue your claim. The basic upshot of such an agreement is:  

If you win your case the Third Party Insurers will pay your legal fees.

If you lose your case you will not have to pay your legal fees and the solicitor will stand the losses incurred.

In addition, if you win your case the Third Party Insurers will pay your solicitors percentage uplift on their costs to reflect the risk taken at the outset.

This percentage uplift can range from 12.5 % to 100 % depending on the complexity of the case, the initial risk and how far down the line the case has gone before it is settled.

Your damages are ring-fenced, that is to say your solicitor should not deduct a single penny from your damages and what you settle for you should receive.

Before any solicitor you should get their assurance that not one penny of your damages should go to cover their costs

If any solicitor tries to deduct money from your damages to cover their costs, hang up and look for a solicitor who can guarantee there will be no deductions.

About the Author:
Mike Massen is a practising solicitor with Gartons Solicitors Leeds – 0113 2310766, mmassen@gartonsolicitors.co.uk www.gartonsolicitors.co.uk. Gartons provide quality legal service in the following areas: accident claims, buying and selling property,wills and probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney, criminal injury claims, sexual abuse claims. Gartons have particular expertise when dealing with dogbites and needlestick claims.
 If you have found this article of interest please feel free to forward to other sites etc however I would ask that you give full credit to Gartons Solicitors for such, thank you.
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