A No Win-No Fee payment agreement is used when a client cannot afford upfront legal costs, and a lawyer is confident of winning the case. Also known as ‘contingent cost’ agreements.
Makes legal services more accessible for people with limited finances.
Only available in civil matters such as injury claims and will disputes, not in family law cases.
The claimant may have to pay costs or disbursements such as court fees and experts fees.
If the claim is unsuccessful the claimant will be liable for the defendant’s legal costs.
‘Win’ is broadly defined to include offers of settlement, which may be less than expected.
Subject to uplift fees, which allows the lawyer to charge for the risk of No Win-No Fee agreements.
Uplift fees are capped at an additional 25% of the legal costs.
Personal injury compensation claims are limited by the 50/50 rule. The lawyer may only charge a maximum of 50% of the final settlement.
Australian No Win-No Fee payment agreements.
Personal Injury Lawyers Australia offer No Win No Fee payment arrangements across all areas of compensation law including:
Workplace accident claims
Motor vehicle accident
Slip & fall claims
HOW DOES NO WIN NO FEE WORK?
Most national Australian law firms will offer a No-Win-No-Pay style contingent cost agreements. The essence of these payment plans is that one will only pay for the fee’s a lawyer charges when and only when the case is successfully settled in your favor. If your claim for personal injury compensation is not successful then you are not charged the standard lawyer’s fees for pursuing the claim on your behalf. This sounds like an excellent option for many of those who have been injured in the work place or a motor vehicle accident, have been the victim of online slander or have suffered due to the negligence of another. For many a no win no fee cost arrangement is the only way to access law services and legal representation. Traditional up-front fee paying law firms are often priced out of reach for many average Australians. This fact alone makes non upfront contingent cost agreements a very attractive option for many. We will look at the benefits and sometimes hidden costs of such arrangements. For more information on this service Click Here.
A non payment arrangement allows the litigant to delay upfront legal costs, however there are other costs or disbursements that will need to be paid whilst the law firm pursues your claim for compensation. These disbursements range from specialist testimony, where a doctor may give evidence on your behalf, to court filing fees, photocopying and Barristers fees amongst others. Have a frank discussion with the prospective law firm about the kinds of disbursement fees that will be charged and when those charges will be collected.
A law firm is taking a risk on winning the compensation claim on your behalf. Knowing that the firm intends on profiting from the arrangement, most national Australian law firms will include uplift fees as part of the contractual obligations for a No-Win No-Fee payment arrangement. Uplift fees are generally limited to 25% of the legal costs.
If the case is unsuccessful the claimantwill still be liable to pay for the defendants costs, as subject to court rulings. The claimant will still have to pay for any disbursements incurred by the legal firm that pursued their claim.
What is a Win?
In pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation you may be offered a settlement amount to discontinue the claim. This is also defined as a win even though the settlement amount may be much less than expected. Law firms will often take a settlement offer to resolve the case in as little time as possible. If the claimant refuses to settle, against the advice of the law firm the payment arrangement may cease at that point and another payment plan for pursuing the matter at trial may have to be made or negotiated.
In all Australian personal injury claims the maximum amount (including GST) that a law firm may charge is 50% of the total settlement.. The 50/50 rule does not cover the interest of any litigation loans made to the client by the law firm. This does not include the disbursements that are made to pursue the case nor any refunds such as medical costs repayable to Medicare or Centrelink.
No Win-No Fee payment arrangements are still one of the best ways to access legal services for those with limited funds. If you have a personal injury compensation claim and are interested in speaking to a lawyer about your claim please contact us.