It’s a phrase thrown around with tremendous aplomb inside the Law industry. Something you would probably notice more if it wasn’t featured on a law firm’s website front page and seemingly par for the course for every personal injury Solicitors in the modern age. What does it mean though? Do Solicitors work for free? Surely there’s a catch?
We get a lot of questions regarding what no win no fee really is. Sincere Law pride ourselves on being open, honest and transparent about all aspects of our services. So to answer a very popular question we’ve created this short guide to give you the complete picture on this commonly used phrase.
The dictionary definition
At its most basic level, “no win no fee” is as it says on the tin, if you make a claim which is unsuccessful, you will not pay for the case. There are caveats to the rule. For example, Sincere Law is happy to work on a no win no fee basis, however, all of our clients must be upfront, open and honest about their claim.
If during any point in the claim process a client has mislead their Solicitor or been untrue in their account of their injuries, charges for the time taken must be applied as misleading a company to pursuing a false claim is time taken that could be dedicated to somebody truly requiring legal representation. Thankfully this is something we rarely experience at Sincere Law.
Citizens Advice and UK legal authority Find Law offer useful guides to explain no win no fee, both emanate the above. No win no fee may sound as though there is a “catch” but the real truth is that it is a simple way of managing a claim with no risk to the client.
How does it benefit me?
What does a no risk claim mean to your own claim? Do you suffer a lower payout given that you won’t pay for an unsuccessful claim or even pay out of your final sum? The answer is no you do not suffer. The biggest benefit to you for making a no win no fee claim is that you can make a claim free of stress from worrying about legal fees. You know that the only money that will be taken is after a win, so you know that whatever happens, you will either pay nothing or receive something.
The Solicitor becomes the party who will take on the risk for you as we show willingness to offer you legal services knowing we will only be paid if we come through with your claim. It is a format used to help make a claim more accessible to all, and a model that has worked well since it’s inception.
How are Solicitors paid?
With a lower risk for a client in making a claim with this model, the next puzzle is to work out where a Solicitor earns their keep? The answer is quite simple as many law firms use a universal system to recoup their fees on completion of a successful claim.
When a claim is successful a law firm passes on the compensation to the client after it is awarded. Standard legal practice is to take a percentage of the case winnings as legal fees; this means the client will receive a lump sum and not be charged once they receive their compensation.
This method allows a client to have the smoothest, stress free claim process possible as their requirements, once they have started a claim, are simply to inform their Solicitor of the accident details, sign any paperwork required and receive their compensation with no ‘actual’ cost to them upon receiving their percentage.
Where it began?
Before the introduction of the “conditional fee” (the official title of no win no fee), cases were paid for either by a client paying their own legal fees or by legal aid provided by the government.
Paying your own legal fees can be very expensive and dissuade people from making a claim dependant on their financial situation. A complicated case could span a long time and result in spiralling costs a client is unable to keep up with. While this practice still exists today, most injury claims are taken using no win no fee.
Another alternative previously was legal funding provided by the government. This was aimed at helping those who struggled to pay legal fees gain compensation. It is still a service provided in the UK but was amended in 1998 so that injury claims would be turned down for legal aid following the change. The removal of legal aid in injury cases required Solicitors to find a way to encourage clients to still claim with financially viable services for those unable to risk paying legal fees.
Following the decision to remove legal aid, conditional fees were introduced over the legal landscape to give the average client a chance at getting justice. Personal injury Solicitors became front runners to adopt this new style of funding claims. The overwhelming popularity of no win no fee has become evident as more advertisements on TV screens and in magazines appear each day stating the benefits of making a no risk claim.
What to do if you have a claim?
If you feel you have a serious injury claim, you can get in touch with Sincere Law and ask all about our services and our no win no fee policy. We operate using this hassle free system giving you a fair, open way of claiming your rightful compensation. To get in touch simply call us on 0800 092 2896 or fill in our contact form from our website. A successful claim with Sincere Law will give you the compensation you deserve without Solicitor fees coming out of your own pocket.