The no win no fee basis of compensation claims has long been an excellent way of claiming with no risk of incurred costs. Essentially, your case is taken on under the rule that if it isn’t won in the court of law, there are no costs to pay. Legal fees are paid by the opponent in the case of a claim being won.
This is known as a conditional fee agreement, or CFA, and is a well-established option for litigation funding.
However, it looks like anybody thinking of applying for a claim under the CFA basis will have to act quickly, thanks to the decision to overhaul the practice from 1st of April this year.
What’s in place now
At the moment, a CFA means that lawyers’ fees depend on the outcome of the case in question. On the whole, when a case is lost the client will not have to pay the fees of their lawyer. However, there’s a risk that the client may be required to cover the costs of the other side. This is why an ATE is often implemented (standing for ‘after the event’) which covers these costs if the client was ordered by a judge to pay them.
In a winning case, the client’s representing lawyer takes his or her fees from the defendant, with a percentage on top often called a ‘success fee’.
What’s about to change
It’s time to act quickly if you’re thinking of a no win no fee claim. From 1st of April this year, the fees applied to a winning case will not be recovered from the defendant. Instead, the fee will come out of the awarded amount, cutting compensation prices considerably.
In addition, rather than being paid an hourly rate, lawyers will receive their pay as a percentage of the winning sum. If a case is lost, while the lawyer will not get paid, the prosecution will still have to pay the costs of the other side.
So what now?
The best time to act is right now. If you have sustained an injury at work, you only have until 1st of April this year to make a no win no fee claim.
Any claims made before this date will not be affected by the change, and all previous rules will still apply to them. For more advice on no win no fee claims click here and act before its too late.