No Win No Fee Medical Negligence - Medical Negligence Direct

No Win No Fee Explained

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No Win No Fee Agreements

A No Win No Fee agreement (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement) is a formal contract between a solicitor and a client who is making a claim. This agreement was introduced to give all claimants a level playing field when it comes to making a compensation claim, especially if they lack the financial capacity to hire a solicitor and pay upfront legal fees.

Under a No Win No Fee agreement, a claimant does not incur any financial risks. You will only pay legal fees if you win your case, and these legal fees are typically recovered from the liable party. If your claim is unsuccessful, you will not pay any fees to your solicitor. Your solicitor will manage the claims process on your behalf.

At the start of your claim, you and your solicitor will likely agree on a success fee to be paid upon the successful conclusion of the claims process. This percentage-based fee will be taken from your compensation award, and will be no more than 25% of the total settlement.

The success fee usually falls between the 0 – 25% of your compensation award; a fee will be determined by the Panel Law Firms, depending on the unique circumstances of the case. Although the success fee will be determined on an individual basis, the assessment criteria will generally be based on:

  • The prospects of the matter and level of risk for the firm bringing the case
  • The cost associated with bringing the case
  • The likely level of damages
  • The timescale for resolution of the claim

Will I Ever Have to Pay Anything?

When signing a No Win No Fee agreement, all claimants will be made aware of a “cooling off period” within which they can cancel their agreement at no cost. This cooling off period is within the first 14 days of a claimant-solicitor agreement. In the event that you cancel the agreement outside the cooling off period, you may be charged a termination fee payable to the solicitor.

What is ATE Insurance and Do I Need It?

Your solicitor may advise you to take an After the Event (ATE) Insurance policy alongside your CFA for medical negligence claims. In the event that you lose your claim, the ATE insurance policy covers any potential costs. These costs may include solicitor fees, cost of an independent medical examination, court fees and/or any potential adverse judgement costs.

ATE policies are beneficial for claimants because they allow solicitors to work in the best interests of their client, with freedom to engage the best medical professionals rest assured that the client incurs no financial risk. Although claimants are usually protected against financial risks due to the rule known as Qualified One Way Costs Shifting, ATE insurance policies are still important.

Discuss with your solicitor about the funding options available to you and whether an ATE policy is good for you. The costs of an ATE policy varies from case to case, but these costs are usually paid at the end of a successful claim, meaning there is no upfront cost to you. What’s more, if your case is unsuccessful, ATE policies are generally “self-insured”, and there is no financial risk to you.