Don’t panic - No win, no fee is still available


Claimants in negligent matters such as personal injury, professional negligence or medical negligence need not change how they seek legal advice due to the new proposals to no-win, no-fee cases.

Justice Secretary Ken Clark announced a raft of changes in March 2011 to the civil justice system in an effort to stamp out ‘spurious cases’. The news is littered with accounts of people suing businesses and individuals illegitimately and arguably these have led to higher insurance premiums and quiet out-of-court settlements.

The result is that legal representatives in no-win, no-fee cases can no longer charge a ‘success fee’ to defendants as they will receive a share of the damages awarded to claimants.

All clients will see less of their compensation despite the introduction of a 10 per cent increase in damages. And whilst it appears that people are being penalised by a booming claims culture, solicitors also fear a bust as success rates will be capped to 25 per cent of compensation.

The review, conducted by Lord Justice Jackson in 2010, streamlines an area of law that compensates people for suffering wrongly with access to legal aid or privately funded solicitors unaffected.

Access to solicitors with expertise in negligent matters have been made easier with no-win, no-fee offers on television, advertising compensation for slip, trips, falls and many types of accidents. There is no change here due to these reforms. However, solicitors will consider costs more thoroughly before taking on a case for weeks or months without pay and this will impact on the type of cases that will attract conditional fee arrangements.  

Solicitors in England and Wales should be regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and they have a duty to give their considered opinion of a case. This will include whether any awarded damages will be worthwhile based on the smallest details of a case, as usual.

If you would like to speak to a solicitor, please call Caven on 08001 221 2299 or fill out the web-form.

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