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Q. What is a No Win No Fee agreement?


A no win no fee agreement (also known as a conditional fee agreement), means that if you are unsuccessful in your claim, you will not have to pay us for our work.


Q. What will I have to pay if I do not win my claim?


If you are not successful, you do not have to pay us anything. However, your opponent may have the right to claim their legal expenses from you. At Bell Lax, we have links with specialist insurers who may be able to offer a policy to cover any costs you have to pay to your opponent if you lose your claim.


Q. What is a win?


Before we enter into a no win, no fee agreement, we will agree with you what we define as a ‘win’. This is usually where the claim is decided by the Court and your opponent is order to pay you money, or where the claim is settled by an agreement between you and your opponent on terms which are acceptable to you.


Q. What will I have to pay if I win?


If you are successful in your claim, any legal fees are ordinarily payable by your opponent.


However, you will be responsible for paying our ‘success fee’, which is not recoverable from your opponent.


Q. What is a success fee?


If we act on a no win no fee basis and you ‘win’ your claim, we are entitled to charge what is known as a ‘success fee’. A success fee is an increase on our usual legal costs, which cannot amount to any more than 100% of those usual costs.


For example, if at the conclusion of your case our legal fees are £10,000 plus VAT, a 50% success fee would be £5,000 plus VAT, meaning you would have to pay us a total of £15,000 plus VAT. However, if you are successful and recover compensation, then you will have a ‘pot of money’ from which you can pay our success fee of £5,000 plus VAT.


Q. What if the Defendant cannot pay my damages and legal costs?


If the Defendant does not have sufficient funds and/or assets to pay all of your damages and legal costs, you would be required to pay our success fee plus any outstanding legal costs that you did not recover from the Defendant.


Q. When considering whether to offer a no win no fee agreement, do you factor in the Defendant's financial situation?


To avoid the problem of Claimants not being able to recover all of the damages and costs they are awarded, we will take into account whether the Defendant is likely to have sufficient assets at the outset of the case. If we consider there is a risk that the Defendant will not be able to pay your compensation, we will discuss this with you before offering a no win no fee agreement.


Q. Is a no win no fee agreement suitable for all types of commercial claims?


Generally, no win no fee works well for high-value claims (typically, over £25,000). This is because, with a high-value claim, you can expect to recover significant monetary compensation from your opponent. Therefore, you will have a pot of money from which to pay the success fee.


However, if your claim has a value of less than £25,000, a no win no fee agreement may not be suitable. This is because if you were successful in your claim, the compensation that you recover may not be enough to pay our success fee and any of our usual costs that you cannot recover from your opponent.


We will usually carry out an initial review, to assess whether your potential claim has sufficient legal and financial merit before we offer you a no win no fee agreement.


Q. Can you act on a no win no fee basis for claims allocated to the small claims track?


Claims with a value of less than £10,000 are generally allocated to the small claims track. The court rules usually prevent you from recovering your legal costs from your opponent even if you win. For this reason, no win, no fee funding is not appropriate in the small claims track.


Q. Can you act on a no win no fee basis for defendants?


A no win no fee agreement can be suitable for defendant in certain circumstances. For instance, if a defendant is seeking to bring a counterclaim, i.e. a claim brought by the defendant in response to the claimant’s claim, we are happy to consider whether a no win no fee agreement may be suitable.


Q.  What if a no win no fee is not suitable for my claim?


If a no win no fee agreement is not suitable, we are happy to consider other options, such as a damages-based agreement, or a no win, low fee agreement. Alternatively, we may be willing to quote a fixed fee for a piece of work rather than charging at our usual hourly rates.


If you would like to discuss whether a no win no fee agreement is suitable for your claim, contact our commercial law team on 0121 355 0011.