A Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) is a written agreement that formalises the no-win no-fee arrangement between you and your solicitor.
It is essentially a document designed to give the claimant peace of mind; legally stating that they won’t have to pay their solicitor a penny if their claim is unsuccessful.
CFAs were introduced in 1998 as a means of providing legal representation to people who could not afford it. The document ensures that you only pay your solicitor in the event that they win your case for you as well as putting a cap on the amount they can charge you.
Up until April 2013 solicitors could recover a ‘success fee’ from the other side when they won the case. This enabled the law firm representing you to pay you 100% of your compensation.
A CFA is designed to give the claimant peace of mind; legally stating that they won’t have to pay their solicitor a penny if their claim is unsuccessful.
The government changed the rules in April 2013 and removed the requirement for the third party to pay the success fee so almost all law firms now charge 25% of the client’s compensation.
This means if you were to be awarded £2,000 in compensation, the law firm representing you would keep £500 (25%) for the work they did on your claim. It means that instead of the insurer paying the law firm’s fees, now the injured person has to.
What Claims Are Covered By a CFA?
All claims that Bott and Co offer legal services for are under a conditional fee agreement.
The types of claims covered by CFAs are:
What Does Bott and Co’s CFA include?
At Bott and Co, our Conditional Fee Agreement legally states that if your claim is successful, we will never charge you more than 25% of the compensation you are awarded, no matter how much work we have to do on your behalf.
This means that you receive the best possible legal service while keeping the majority of your compensation, and without having to worry about paying any legal bills when your claim is settled.
Another benefit of the 25% cap is that if for whatever reason your compensation amount does not cover your legal costs, we will not ask you to cover them because have already agreed that we will not take more than 25% of your final compensation amount.
The agreement also states that in the unlikely event we do not win your claim, you don’t have to pay us a penny.
In the event that you are not already insured for legal costs (typically as part of a motor or house insurance policy), we will ask that you purchase after the event (ATE) legal expense insurance to cover any costs that you need to pay to the other side and to enable us to provide a no-win no-fee service. There is no up-front cost for this and it will be deducted from the final compensation pay out so you can pursue the claim risk-free.
You will receive a copy of our Conditional Fee Agreement when we accept your claim. You can read through it and ask your dedicated solicitor any questions you might have so you are absolutely clear on what the Agreement means for you.
Remember, the document is there for your financial protection and we’re more than happy to guide you through it if you have any doubts at all.
Have a question about your Conditional Fee Agreement? Give us a call on 01625 415 850 to find out more.
Senior Partner of Bott and Co, David is a fellow, and past president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
Championing consumer rights, he regularly speaks at legal conferences and has appeared on a number of television shows including The One Show and Watchdog, as well as BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live.