No Win No Fee – The Controversy

What is ‘No win no fee’?

No win no fee arrangements have come under fire as they are said to actually reduce access to legal services.  Legal Aid for personal injury cases was abolished in 2000, after which The Citizen’s Advice Bureux shouldered huge numbers of personal injury enquiries.

Since 2000 ‘No win no fees’ arragements have become common-place. However the CAB warn that there is ‘widespread mis-selling of legal and insurance products’, and people can ‘often find that costs are hidden and unpredictable’.

You should be careful since insurance premiums and other legal costs can significantly reduce any compensation you receive. In some cases consumers even owe money in the end.

‘No win no fee’ sounds like no one can lose. However, the economics of the fee charging method has lead some solicitors to cherry-pick the high value cases or only go for ‘quick-wins’.  Some solicitors refuse to take on deserving claims simply because they are not convenient or profitable, and this is in effect denying many people their right to justice.

‘No win no fee is’ a conditional solicitor fees agreement commonly referred to as a CFA. This allows a solicitor to charge a client solicitors fees only if compensation is paid or awarded to the claimant.

A no win no fee agreement is designed to protect you from paying solicitors fees regardless of whether you win or lose the personal injury claim.

If your claim is not successful you will not be liable to pay your solicitor’s costs. All solicitors fees incurred for making the claim will be taken from an insurance policy – either taken out by the solicitor – or by you.

There are however different types of conditional fee agreements and not all solicitors’ firms take cases on this basis.