13 December 2023

What is a ‘no win no fee’ agreement?

What is a ‘no win no fee’ agreement?

The correct term for a ‘no win no fee’ agreement is a Conditional Fee Agreement (“CFA”). A CFA is a contract between a firm and their client for the cost of the legal services provided.

You will often hear these agreements referred to as ‘no win no free’ in adverts and they are most commonly entered into in Personal Injury or Clinical Negligence matters but can be used in other areas of Litigation also.

Usually under a CFA you do not have to pay for your legal fees upfront and will only have to pay for disbursements (e.g. Court fee) if we receive an early ‘interim’ payment from your opponent or at the end of the litigation.

If you do not win your case, you will not be required to pay for your lawyer’s legal fees if you follow the terms of the CFA.

Is anyone entitled to a CFA?

Anyone is eligible for a CFA, however, in order for this firm to enter into a CFA with you, your lawyer must determine whether they think that your case has more than a 50% chance of success.

This will be determined on a case-by-case basis and it is often difficult to decide on this at the very beginning of the case. It is not unusual to pay privately to begin with and, once we gain a better understanding of your case and its prospects of success, we can assess whether the remainder of the work can be carried out under a CFA.

How much do I have to pay if I win?

If your case is successful, we will try to recover the total amount of your costs from your opponent. Under CFAs, there is often a ‘success fee’ payable which is a percentage of your damages (compensation) which is often capped at a certain amount. Again, this varies depending on your case and the terms of the success fee will be stated in the CFA.

If you require further information or assistance regarding any employment law matter, please contact Chloe Baxter who is a Partner in our Employment Team. 

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