How does a no-win, no-fee agreement work for employment cases?


By Gurpreet Chohan

Employment law is one of those areas where a specialist solicitor may be able to offer a no-win, no-fee agreement. However, the common misconception I face daily is that it won’t cost you, the client, anything. 

Employment cases are usually heard in an Employment Tribunal and the consequence of this is that generally neither party can claim their legal costs from the other side, even in the event that their case is successful. A decision to offer a no-win, no-fee arrangement by a solicitor is therefore subject to careful consideration and will be offered on a case-by-case basis. As a result of not being able to claim their costs from the other party, a solicitor is only able to recover their fee by agreeing with you a percentage of your compensation in the event that you win. This will usually be between 25% -40%.

Therefore, a no-win, no-fee employment solicitor will usually charge an amount of money to conduct a risk assessment of your case. This generally involves a two stage test. Firstly, is there in fact a valid and strong case that can be won? And secondly, are you likely to receive an amount of compensation that will allow them to take this agreed percentage and cover their costs?

Most solicitors will usually charge for the amount of time they will need to spend making their risk assessment of your case. They may charge their usual hourly rate for the number of hours spent, or alternatively, a fixed cost given upon the initial sight of the quantity of information to assess. A successful risk assessment would mean the solicitor would then be prepared to continue with the remainder of the case on a no-win, no-fee basis, effectively meaning there is no further cost to you.

It is important to remember that a case which is not successful in a no-win, no-fee risk assessment does not necessarily mean the chances of success are poor. Your case may be extremely valid but based on the considerations of how your compensation would be calculated; it may not suitable for this type of arrangement.  Paying privately or considering other funding alternatives may still provide a successful and satisfying result to your employment dispute.

Caven can help

If you would like to discuss whether your employment dispute may be suitable for a no-win, no-fee agreement, call Caven free on 08001 221 2299.

Gurpreet Chohan is one of Caven’s most experienced and knowledgeable telephone advisors.

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