No Win No Fee Agreements: What You Need to Know

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When it comes to taking legal actions or making compensation claims, concerns about costs may often deter individuals from seeking justice. To overcome this, many legal professionals in the UK offer ‘No Win, No Fee‘ agreements, technically known as ‘Conditional Fee Agreements’ (CFAs). These arrangements take the financial risk out of legal proceedings for the claimant, as they only need to pay their solicitor’s fee if the case is won. This article will delve deeper into what ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreements are and what you need to know about them.

Understanding ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreements

A ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement is a contract between a client and their solicitor. Under this arrangement, the solicitor agrees to take on a case with the understanding that they will only be paid if the case is successful. This can provide peace of mind for clients who may be worried about getting involved in expensive legal proceedings.

What Does ‘Winning’ Mean?

In a ‘No Win, No Fee’ scenario, ‘winning’ typically means either settling the case out of court or being awarded compensation by the court. If the claim is resolved in your favor, you’re required to pay the solicitor’s fee (also known as a ‘success fee’).

The ‘Success Fee’

The ‘success fee’ is often a percentage of the compensation awarded and cannot exceed 25% of your compensation in personal injury cases, including medical negligence and road traffic accident claims. In other types of cases, the success fee might vary. It’s crucial to understand and agree on this success fee amount before proceeding with the case.

What Happens If You Lose The Case?

If you lose your case under a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement, you won’t need to pay your solicitor’s fee. However, it’s important to note that you might be responsible for the other party’s costs and your disbursements such as court fees and medical reports.

To mitigate this risk, your solicitor usually advises you to take out an insurance policy known as ‘After The Event’ (ATE) insurance. An ATE insurance policy covers the expenses you may need to pay the opponents and your disbursements if you lose the case. A discussion about the appropriateness and cost of such an insurance policy should form part of your initial consultation with your solicitor.

Things to Consider

Before entering into a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement, consider the following:

  • Read the agreement carefully: Ensure you fully understand all the terms and ask for clarification where required.
  • Insurance coverage: Ask your solicitor about the ATE insurance policy, including how much it will cost and what exactly it covers.
  • Consider alternatives: Are there other methods of funding available, such as legal expenses insurance, legal aid or trade union support?
  • Long-term implications: Understand that legal proceedings may take longer than anticipated. Be prepared for a potential wait for your settlement.


No win no fee solicitor have made it possible for many individuals to pursue legal actions without worrying about upfront costs. They provide an opportunity to seek justice and compensation when it might have otherwise been financially impractical. However, just like any legal contract, you should make sure you fully understand the implications of a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement before you sign.

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