What is a Conditional Fee Agreement?

A Conditional Fee Agreement (or CFA) is often called a “no win no fee agreement”. This is an arrangement where we take on the risk of legal costs. This means that we only get paid if we win the case and you pay nothing if we lose.

Under a conditional fee agreement, solicitors agree to take on a claim on the understanding that if it is lost they will not charge any fee for the work that they have carried out. In exchange, the client agrees that if the claim is successful the solicitors will be paid a success fee on top of their normal fee to compensate for the risk that they have run of not being paid any fee at all. That success fee is paid by deduction from the compensation and is calculated as a percentage of the solicitors’ normal fee (not as a percentage of the compensation that is awarded). The level at which it can be set is strictly controlled by government legislation.

These agreements are sometimes described as “no win no fee” agreements and, whilst that is correct, it is important to recognise that the “no fee” element relates only to our fees and does not cover the ancillary expenses of the claim (sometimes called disbursements) such as the court fees, the medical experts’ fees and the barristers’ fees; neither does it cover the Defendant’s fees and expenses. However, the risk of becoming liable for the expenses if the case is lost can, in part, be covered by insurance.

Where they are not covered by insurance, we will pay them so that you do not have to. Furthermore, even if the case is lost, the law prevents the Defendants from claiming their legal fees and expenses from a Claimant except in certain specified circumstances, in which event we will pay them so that you will not have to.

This all means that if you enter into a conditional fee agreement with Gadsby Wicks in conjunction with an insurance policy, we will be able to promise you that, whatever happens, the only money that you will ever have to pay will be out of any compensation that we recover for you. You will never have to find any other money.

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