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‘No win-no fee’ - personal injury claims
‘No win-no fee’ is the popular term for solicitors’ conditional fee agreements. The law has changed for ‘no win-no fee’ funding of personal injury claims. However, Brachers solicitors still guarantee a genuine ‘no win-no fee’ service for personal injury claims and we pay all the claims expenses for you. For personal injury claims under a ‘no win-no fee’ agreement with Brachers solicitors, provided you comply with your responsibilities, you will never have to pay a penny out of your own pocket. Under our ‘no win-no fee’ agreements for personal injury claims any contribution required from you would just be deducted from your compensation at the end. Any contribution would be capped to guarantee you keep most of your compensation whatever happens. You therefore have nothing to lose in making a claim with a Brachers solicitor’s ‘no-win no fee’ agreement.
What does ‘no win-no fee’ mean for personal injury claims?
We advise what ‘no win-no fee’ means for you under Brachers’ solicitors agreements; first if you lose your case and then if you win.
What does ‘no win-no fee’ mean if I lose?
‘No win no fee’ and our solicitors’ costs
‘No win-no fee’ means just what it says when it comes to our solicitors’ costs. Provided you comply with your responsibilities you pay nothing for our solicitors’ costs if you lose your claim.
It’s ‘no-win no fee’ for our solicitors’ costs, but what about other claims expenses?
There are other costs in making a personal injury claim on top of solicitors services; expenses like medical reports and court fees. ‘No win-no fee’ does not cover these expenses. However, insurance can cover them. You may have such insurance already (e.g. as part of your household insurance) or if not we can arrange no win no fee insurance for you to cover your liability for expenses if you lose. Some ‘no win-no fee’ solicitors will make you pay for claims expenses upfront. Brachers solicitors ’no win-no fee’ agreements guarantee that we will pay the expenses for you as the case goes along. If you lose we would then normally recover them from your insurers.
It’s ‘no win-no fee’ for our solicitors’ costs, but what about the cost of insurance?
If we need to take out ‘no win-no fee’ insurance the premium for that insurance also works on a ‘no win-no fee’ – the insurance premium is just written off if you lose and there is no charge.
It’s ‘no win-no fee’ for our solicitors’ costs, but what about the defendant’s costs?
‘No win-no fee’ for solicitors’ costs does not cover the defendants costs. However, due to a change in the law on ‘no win-no fee’ cases, normally personal injury claimants no longer have to pay anything for the defendant’s costs if they lose. There are still certain situations, for example, where the defendant made an offer to settle which you rejected but failed to beat. The court could then take away part or all of your compensation to pay the defendant’s costs. These situations should be covered by insurance. The one situation that is not covered by ‘no win-no fee’ insurance is if a claim were found to be fundamentally dishonest. Obviously we would discourage any dishonest claims.
What does ‘no win-no fee’ mean if I win?
The flipside to ‘no win- no fee’ is that if you win there are certain costs to be paid out of your compensation, but these are limited and capped by Brachers solicitors to ensure you keep most of your compensation.
‘No win-no fee’ – the success fee
We charge success fees in ‘no win-no fee’ cases to compensate us for the risk of not getting paid if claims are lost or where clients fail to beat a defendant’s offer. This fee is calculated as a percentage uplift on the basic solicitors’ charges for our time. The percentage uplift in ‘no win-no fee’ cases is assessed taking into account the risks in your case at the time we took it on. We also charge 10% in ‘no win-no fee’ cases to help make up for Brachers solicitors not getting paid until the case finishes. The success fee in no win no fee cases used to be recoverable from the defendant. Unfortunately due to a change in the law it is no longer. However by law the success fee in ‘no win- no fee’ cases charged by solicitors is capped and limited to no more than 25% of your compensation for your injuries and past losses.
‘No win-no fee’ – shortfall in solicitors’ costs
If you win a ‘no win-no fee’ case, we can recover a contribution to our basic solicitors’ costs from the defendant. The actual solicitors’ costs are usually significantly less than the solicitors’ costs that can be recovered. Some solicitors firms will always charge clients for that shortfall. At Brachers solicitors in larger ‘no win no fee’ cases and certain other cases we agreed to cap our charges to you, so that any charges for shortfall and success fee combined are limited to a maximum of 25% of your total compensation, provided you comply with your responsibilities. Also in these cases if you have legal expenses insurance we will usually match any terms offered by your legal expenses insurer. This may sometimes mean no deduction at all. In smaller no win no fee cases settled for under £25,000 due to a change in the law the basic solicitors costs we can recover are now usually fixed. This is often at a very low amount far below the actual solicitors’ costs. Where recoverable solicitors costs are fixed like this if there is a difference between our actual solicitors costs and the fixed recoverable costs, we will usually charge something for the shortfall. However, under our no win no fee agreements we agree to limit what we charge for shortfall in our solicitors’ costs. In smaller cases we agree that whatever we deduct- whether it’s for shortfall, success fee or anything else- you will keep the majority of your compensation. However, under aren’t no-win no fee agreement we agreed to limit what we charge for success fees and shortfall combined to no more than 33% of your compensation.
‘No win-no fee’ – other claim expenses
These are normally recoverable in full from the defendants. Some ‘no win-no fee’ solicitors will require you to pay these expenses up front. The ‘no win-no fee’ agreement Brachers solicitors will offer guarantee that we pay these expenses for you as the case goes along. We normally then just recover them from the defendant at the end of the case.
‘No win-no fee’ – the cost of insurance
If you already have insurance for the claim we do not need to buy this. If not we can arrange no win no fee insurance for you. The premium is only payable at the end of the case, as a deduction from your compensation. The premium varies depending on the size and type of claim, from about £80 for a small road traffic claim to about £1600 for a large public liability claim. However, for some industrial disease claims it can be a little higher. These no win no fee insurance premiums used to be recoverable from the defendants but sadly due to a change in the law they are no longer. In larger no win no fee cases even after deduction of success fee and insurance you would still keep the large majority of your compensation. In smaller no win no fee cases Brachers solicitors agree to cap whatever deductions we make- whether for insurance or anything else- to make sure you keep the majority of your compensation.
‘No win-no fee’ – are the deductions fair?
We think they are unfair and we lobbied hard against the changes. However they are the result of a deliberate change of government policy with no win no fee claims; to make claimants contribute to the cost of making claims through their compensation. To help make up for this the courts have increased compensation for injuries by 10%, but in most no win no fee cases this does not make up for the deductions. Before the changes we never used to charge clients a penny win or lose, but it would now be uneconomic for us to provide client’s a service if we did not make these charges. We hope one day the law on no win no fee may be changed back, so that once again we do not have to make these deductions from our clients’ compensation.
What personal injury claims can we take on a ‘no win-no fee’?
Pretty much any type of person injury claim; from minor whiplash injuries and simple fractures to serious head injuries and spinal injuries and industrial diseases. The main conditions are that we think there is a reasonable chance (more than 50%) of the claim succeeding and that your injuries would be worth more than £1,000.
‘no win-no fee’ - what are my responsibilities?
If we take your case on a no win no fee Brachers solicitors guarantee:
- we will not charge you a penny for our service if you lose.
- we will pay your claims expenses as the case goes along
- we will cap any charges if you win so that you keep the lion share of your compensation
In return we just ask clients to be fair and honest with us. Under the agreement your responsibilities are not onerous. You should:
- give us instructions to allow us to work for you properly until your case concludes
- not ask us to work in an improper or and reasonable way
- not deliberately mislead us
- cooperate with us
- go to any necessary expert appointment or court hearing