What is “No Win. No Fee.”?
Being able to hire a good compensation lawyer is crucial when you’re unable to work or you’ve had trouble on the road or on someone’s property. Circumstances however can make it hard to afford. At Splatt Lawyers, we believe that you should have access to legal services and justice regardless of your financial situation. That’s why we operate on a “No Win. No Fee.” basis.
“No Win. No Fee.”
What You Need To Know
If you’re looking for reliable information about “No Win. No Fee.” you’ll find everything you need to know below, including answers to frequently asked questions and important facts to help you make an informed decision relating to this topic.
A true “No Win. No Fee.” lawyer is one who’ll represent you without requiring you to pay any legal costs upfront. Instead, you’ll only pay the legal costs if the lawyer wins your case.
“No Win. No Fee.” is a type of payment agreement that law firms commonly enter into with their clients. This type of agreement is very common in cases involving compensation law. They’re more formally known as “conditional costs agreements” since the payment of legal costs is conditional on a successful outcome for the case.
Many law firms advertise as “No Win. No Fee.” lawyers. However it’s good to be aware that a “No Win. No Fee.” agreement offered by one law firm may be very different from that offered by another.
Payment terms can vary from one “No Win. No Fee.” lawyer to another so make sure you understand them fully before you sign any contractual agreement.
Under agreements that are truly “No Win. No Fee.” you won’t have to pay a cent if your lawyer loses your case. There are other types of “No Win. No Fee.” agreements that waive the professional fees if your case is lost but will charge you for any expenses paid to pursue your case (known as outlays or disbursements).
The thing to note is that not all lawyers are truly “No Win. No Fee.”
At Splatt Lawyers we have a “No Win. No Fee.” policy that guarantees you won’t be charged any legal costs whatsoever if we’re not successful in winning your case.
What is a “Win”?
For the purposes of most conditional costs agreements, a “win” is defined as a settlement of your case that is in line with your wishes, or an award of damages in your favour ordered by the court. A settlement is a legal agreement negotiated between litigating parties to end their dispute. Compensation claims usually reach a settlement out of court since litigating parties want to avoid the high legal costs and stress associated with proceeding to trial.
What is a “Fee”?
What is defined to be a “fee” depends on the conditional costs agreement you have with your law firm. Some “No Win. No Fee.” law firms waive only their professional fees if your case is unsuccessful, while other law firms waive their professional fees and also any outlays associated with your case.
At Splatt Lawyers, we are clear that you will not be charged any professional fees nor will you be charged any outlays if we do not win your case.
What happens if your case is successful?
Under a “No Win. No Fee.” agreement, if your case is successful you’ll typically be charged the professional fees and also any outlays incurred in the running of your case. Some law firms will also charge you an additional uplift fee (also known as a success fee).
At Splatt Lawyers, our “No Win. No Fee.” agreement provides that only in the event your claim is successful or damages are awarded in your favour, will we render an account for professional fees and outlays. We do not charge an uplift fee.
How your compensation is calculated
It’s natural to be concerned that you could be left with little compensation once legal fees are paid. You’ll be relieved to know that Queensland law protects your interests by placing a maximum limit on the professional fees and the uplift fee that can be charged by “No Win. No Fee.” lawyers.
The 50/50 rule ensures that after expenses have been deducted from your settlement (along with any costs awarded in your favour), any professional fees that you’re charged cannot exceed half of the amount remaining.
The maximum uplift fee you can be charged cannot be more than 25% of the professional fees.
What happens if your case is unsuccessful?
If a “No Win. No Fee.” lawyer is unable to settle your case, then you won’t need to pay any legal fees as defined by your payment agreement. Where a settlement cannot be reached, you can instruct your lawyer to issue proceedings at trial. The risk here is that your lawyer could lose your case in court. If this happens you’ll be legally required to pay the legal costs of the other party.
At Splatt Lawyers, over 99% of our client’s disputes are settled without a need to go to court. We’re very careful with all of the cases in which we’re retained. As a result, we’ve never been in the position of losing or having any client pay the other party’s costs.
Beware of hidden costs
“No Win. No Fee.” sounds like it’s risk-free but this isn’t always the case. As we mentioned earlier, “No Win. No Fee.” agreements are not all the same because law firms set their own terms and conditions.
It’s very important to read the fine print before you sign. Look out for hidden costs which can leave you out-of-pocket – even if your case is unsuccessful.
If your case is unsuccessful:
- Do you have to pay for outlays?
- Do you have to pay the other side’s legal costs if your case proceeds to trial and loses?
If your case is successful:
- Do you have to pay an uplift fee?
- Do you have to pay interest on legal fees or outlays?
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