What is a Conditional Fee Agreement?
A Conditional Fee Agreement or “CFA” is a legal funding agreement between your solicitor and yourself whereby you normally only pay for the solicitor’s work if your case is won.
Without a CFA, a solicitor may require you to pay an upfront fee to cover the work involved in bringing a claim, which can be substantial, and may represent only the initial amount. Depending on the law firm’s terms, you could then be required to pay the remainder of the fee in instalments as the claim progresses or when the case is concluded. The major disadvantage to you is that you must pay whether you win or lose the case.
What does “no win no fee” mean?
The CFA is a written legal funding agreement between you and your solicitor. By signing a CFA, you have the advantage of paying your solicitor’s fees only if your claim is successful and after you have received the compensation due to you.
Are all cases suitable for a CFA?
The answer is NO. Before taking on a case on a CFA basis, your personal injury solicitor will assess the merits of your claim. In other words, your solicitor will do a risk analysis of your case to determine your chances of winning. Normally a solicitor will only agree to sign a CFA if the risk assessment shows that you have a reasonable case, and your prospects of success are at least 51%.
Entering into a CFA can benefit both you and your solicitor. You can have the best personal injury solicitor to represent you without being out of pocket while the case is being pursued in court.
What claims are covered by CFA?
The types of claims covered by CFAs or other types of no win no fee arrangement include:
- Road traffic collision claims
- Accidents at work
- Public liability claims
- Clinical negligence cases
- MIB claims
- CICA claims
What does Anthony Gold’s CFA include?
At Anthony Gold, our usual CFA states that if your claim is successful, we will not normally charge you more than 25% of the compensation you are awarded, no matter how much work we must do on your behalf.
The agreement also states that if we do not win your claim, you don’t have to pay us.
You will receive a copy of the CFA when we accept your claim. Once you read the agreement you can ask your solicitor any questions you might have so you are clear on what the agreement means for you.
Legal expenses insurance and your CFA
As previously mentioned, claims for personal injury compensation are not risk free. Despite your solicitor’s best efforts to risk assess your case, there is always a risk that the claim could fail or that you may fail to do better than an offer which your solicitor advised you to reject. In these circumstances your solicitor will not be paid, but there will be “disbursements” (expert fees, court fees etc) which are still payable, and the other side may be entitled to payment of some of their legal costs. Your solicitor may therefore recommend that you take out legal expenses insurance to cover these costs.
Your solicitor will check whether you already have satisfactory legal expense cover with an existing insurance policy, such as motor or home insurance policy. This is known as “before the event” cover or BTE. If you do have appropriate cover and the insurers allow you to instruct specialist solicitors of your choice, then it may be better to use it rather than seek to take out an alternative ATE “after the event” cover insurance policy.
An ATE policy is a legal expenses insurance policy taken out after the event which the case is about. The premium is not payable until the end of your claim and then only if you have been successful, at which point all or part of the premium may be deducted from your compensation (but is normally included in the 25% maximum deduction referred to above). Your solicitor can arrange an ATE insurance policy to ensure that you are adequately protected.
If you have any questions about making a claim for personal injury compensation, or simply want further explanations as to how the process works, please contact us for assistance.
*Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*