Funding and fees
Claims can be funded in different ways. We always take the time to discuss the funding options in a careful and clear way so that our clients fully understand the funding arrangements.
The main funding options are:
- ‘No win, no fee’ agreements
- Legal expenses insurance
- Private funding
- Public funding (limited Clinical Negligence claims only)
Legal expenses insurance
If you have a household/home contents insurance policy that includes legal expenses, this may cover your legal fees for your personal injury compensation claim. We can make enquiries with your insurer to see if they will fund your claim under the terms and conditions of the policy. Your claim could be funded via the policy. This is known as a 'before the event' insurance policy
'No win, no fee' agreements
If you don't have legal expense insurance it can be funded under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), commonly referred to as a 'no win, no fee agreement'.
The CFA can be backed by a policy of insurance, known as an 'after the event' insurance or ATE, which we can arrange for you. If your claim is unsuccessful, we shall agree to waive our fees and in all but very exceptional cases you will not be liable for paying the defendants' costs.
In essence this means:
- If the claim is unsuccessful you would not normally have to pay for the time we have spent on the case from the time at which you enter the conditional fee arrangement.
- If the claim is successful, the defendant, in addition to paying your compensation, will usually pay most or all of our fees.
- We will advice you as to the advantages and disadvantages of entering into an ATE insurance for your claim.
Conditional fee arrangements are often a viable way to fund a claim at no, or limited, cost to you. We would discuss the option with you in a clear and detailed way when considering the best way to fund your claim.
You may decide to pay us privately, by hourly fee. If you instruct us on this basis, we provide a clear estimate of the costs and agree expenditure caps where appropriate.
Public funding (Legal Aid) for certain Clinical Negligence claims only
We have a clinical negligence public funding franchise from the Legal Services Commission (formerly known as the Legal Aid Board). This means that we can obtain public funding (formerly Legal Aid) if you meet the criteria set down by the Legal Services Commission. We are one of a limited number of specialist firms that can offer this in the country.
From 1 April 2013, legal aid has been abolished in all clinical negligence claims, except for child brain injury cases occurring at the time of birth or up to two months afterwards, often referred to as cerebral palsy.
We still advise using public funding where it is possible and we will prepare and submit an application for public funding for you.
You can find out more about CFAs on the Law Society website.