The correct name for a “no win no fee agreement” is a Conditional Fee Agreement (“CFA”). Under such an arrangement, we can only charge you for our time if we win the case for you, so our fees are “conditional” upon success.
We sometimes offer a CFA in inheritance disputes. If we take your case as a CFA and you win, you will recover some of your costs from your opponent and any shortfall would be paid by you or from the compensation you receive if applicable.
We will offer you a CFA only if we believe that you have a reasonable chance of success. Small disputes are not suitable for a CFA.
Usually a CFA will allow us to charge a success fee if we win the case. This is to reward us for taking the risk of not being paid at all. The success fee will be taken out of any amount that you recover. The success fee is linked to the amount of costs, which in turn is linked to the amount of work we carry out for you to win the case. We are not allowed to charge you a success fee of more than the actual costs, in other words we are never allowed to charge a success fee of more than 100%.
It is not accurate to call a CFA a “no fee” agreement because that suggests it is free if you lose the case. This is not always true, you may have to pay expenses involved in bringing a case to court, for example cost of an expert such as a doctor, court fees, Counsel fees etc. You may also have to pay some of your opponent’s costs. It is usually possible to insure against these risks and we will discuss this with you at the outset.
If you sign a CFA, you have to keep to its terms. You have to do what is necessary to give us the best chance of winning the case for you. So you must tell us the truth and cooperate fully as the case goes through the court process. This includes going to any expert appointments and coming to court hearings.
Please contact our expert, Yulia Barnes, if you think you might have a claim or be involved in litigation. We offer an initial consultation at a nominal fee of £85 plus VAT.