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17:52 on Tuesday
25 May 2004

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New Laws for No Win - No Fee Cases

From the 1st April 2000 changes to the way in which "Conditional (No Win - No Fee) Agreements" operate, will be implemented. For Personal Injury in general "No Win - No Fee" cases have been with us for nearly four years. 

During that time, successful clients have seen a portion of their damages (maximum 25%) taken by their Solicitor by way of a "success fee" as the Solicitor was also taking a risk of not being paid at all if the case were lost. This has now changed. Clients will now be able to claim the 'Success Fee' from the losing party just like any other cost.

This is not all. Prudent clients signing a "No Win - No Fee" contract would also pay an insurance premium to cover them against the risk of losing. This is not to cover their own solicitor's time but rather to cover the other side's costs. To date this premium has been non-refundable, a cost that the client must bear. As from 1st April this too will be capable of being claimed from the losing party.  

These two fundamental changes will be good news for clients bringing cases. Rather than seeing a proportion of their damages disappear they can now keep the lot! 

This change runs hand in hand with the removal of Legal Aid from Personal injury claims. The clear intention of these two changes is to make "No Win - No Fee" claims more user friendly. Whilst most "No Win - No Fee" claims have come from Personal injury, they are equally capable of application in other areas of dispute. 

These changes make "No Win - No Fee" more attractive than ever before. Clients will see a greater return for a lower risk. Everybody should end up happy!

April 2000




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