No win, no fee
No win, no fee was actually put in place to help anyone who could not afford to pay for personal injury solicitors to represent them or to risk court action to fight for a claim. No win, no fee means that, apart from some exceptional circumstances, neither legal fees or other costs are payable if your compensation claim is unsuccessful.
No win, no fee was designed to help everyday people
No win, no fee, in fact, largely superseded the old Legal Aid system back in 2000. The law has been changed fairly recently by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. No win, no fee agreements are still allowed.
In fact it is probably more accurate to describe the arrangement as no win, no fee, subject to insurance. With some rare exceptions, this means that the unsuccessful claimant does not pay anything.
Under the new rules, the defendant is no longer liable to pay a success fee to the claimant’s lawyer if the case is won. Instead the defendant must pay a higher level of damages than before to the claimant. That is to allow the successful claimant to contribute to the costs of running the case and pay a success fee to his or her lawyer for winning the case. You may have to pay for insurance, but the success fee charged will be limited – your solicitor from the Accident Team will explain everything fully.
Under the new rules, the claimant does not now normally have to pay the defendant’s costs even if the claim is unsuccessful. The cost of the legal action is “shifted one way” onto the defendant. However there are also some limited circumstances where payment to defendants might have to be made.
These include when a case is struck out (the court ruling the claim has no prospect of success) or when the claimant wins but the compensation awarded is less than the amount of a formal offer to settle made by the defendant at an earlier stage.
In these circumstances your solicitor will advise you on the need to take out insurance against such events. For some successful claims part of the cost of the insurance policy can be recovered from the defendant. In all unsuccessful cases, when an insurance policy is taken out, the premium for the policy is also insured, so for the claimant it is still no win, no fee*.
When other costs could be payable
There are some rare circumstances in which, irrespective of insurance, fees or other costs could be payable by a claimant who does not win the case. These are exceptional situations which would not apply to any clients pursuing a valid claim in which they honestly believed recompense was due.
Exceptional circumstances might include the following:
- Where a claim was fraudulent
- Where a client ceased to co-operate with the solicitor during the case
- Where, against the advice of the solicitor, an ongoing case is not pursued at the client’s request
- Where the client failed to follow the terms and conditions of the insurance policy
Our no win, no fee areas of specialism include:
- Road traffic accidents
- Accidents at work
- Industrial disease
- Medical negligence claims
- Serious injury claims
- Holiday claims
- Tripping and slipping claims
- Injuries from animals
People we help
For more details on the kind of people who have made successful claims with our solicitor firms, here are some case studies:
- Poor working practices lead to spinal injury and compensation of over £4,000 >>
- Holiday maker wins over £3,000 after her holiday to Egypt was ruined by injury >>
If you would like to discuss the implications of the changes to no win no fee agreements please get in touch on Freephone 0800 999 3738 for landlines, or 0330 999 0031 for mobiles.