How do Solicitors get paid for "No Win, No Fee" Injury Compensation Claims?
Posted on 5th February 2020
When instructing a solicitor for a personal injury claim, it is taken for granted that this will be on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) basis, which often leaves clients unaware of exactly how tricky the costs process can be.
Traditionally, solicitors, as many other tradespeople do, work on an hourly basis charging for their time. Particularly in the Personal Injury sector, many types of claim no longer allow a client to recover their costs in full from the fault party, with instead a table of fixed costs applying which solicitors agree to accept in full and final settlement of their costs of acting for each client, even if they do not cover the time expended on the case.
This is a common occurrence with Road Traffic Accident claims handled via the Ministry of Justice Portal allowing only £600.00+VAT for costs to be recovered from the third party insurer, no matter how long the claim takes to settle and how much work and time must be put in. Solicitors are allowed to deduct up to 25% of each client’s damages but again, this is a fixed fee and rarely does it cover the time spent in ensuring that the client receives the highest standard of care.
MG Legal, your local personal injury solicitor Garstang, pride ourselves on our ability to offer excellent value for our fixed fee to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for your injuries.
Behind the scenes, costs can often get very complex and in the case of Bateman v Devon County Council, the issue was raised around how costs should be applied. The Claimant in this instance accepted a sum of £1,500.00 in settlement of his claim and simply walked away from the case with his settlement, leaving the solicitor to argue their costs.
This took a long and complex procedure where case law from various prior cases including Prescott v The Trustees of the Pencarrow 2012 Maintenance Fund, Williams v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (a Court of Appeal Case) and Quader v Esure (another Court of Appeal Case) to finally obtain a decision on a claim that was, to the Claimant, worth only £1500.00. This is a far cry from the multi-million pound cases which grace the front pages of the daily newspapers, but the Judge on that day was required to consider the same standard of case-law and arguments as those in the larger headline news cases.
This case involved a wide-ranging argument over different legal protocols and just which of three separate ones would have been correct to follow to present the claim and thus, dictate how the costs were applied. In Bateman, the Claimant succeeded and recovered their costs on a “reasonable” basis – on the time spent on the claim rather than the usual fixed costs regime. However, this is the exception rather than the norm and 99% of cases are dealt with firmly under the fixed costs regime.
MG Legal, your local personal injury solicitor Garstang, knows that assessing the prospects of success and dealing with each claim properly from the outset is key to avoiding these disputes. Sometimes, however, they are unavoidable and we will do our best to ensure that each clients case is not affected by these disputes. What solicitors ask, in return for acting under a Conditional Fee Agreement, is that clients cooperate with them to ensure the case can progress to a conclusion as swiftly and as easily as possible.
If you have been involved in any type of incident and sustained a personal injury, contact MG Legal, your local personal injury solicitor Garstang, to discuss how we can act for you on a Conditional Fee Agreement. We have offices in Garstang, Lancaster and Longridge and we are happy to speak to you at each of these offices, via the telephone or email and web-contact form to discuss your claim today.
MG Legal - Your Local Solicitors
Tagged as: Accident Injury Solicitors, Garstang Solicitors, Solicitors in Preston, Your Local Solicitors
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