Alison Law Solicitors offers a range of options to client to pursue good claims and facilitate access to justice:
- Conditional fee agreements (CFAs)
- Damages Based Agreements (DBAs)
- Fixed Fees
- After the event insurance
What is a conditional fee arrangement?
These are complicated agreements and your solicitor must explain the terms carefully to you. They are often called “No Win, No Fee” agreements but also include agreements under which you pay capped or discounted costs in any event with full costs being charged in the event that you win. If you do win your case most of the costs can be recovered from your opponent.
If you win your case the law does allow us to charge an additional “success fee” calculated as a percentage of the basic costs. This “success fee” is not recoverable from your opponent and if we are charging a ‘success fee’ you will have to meet it from your own pocket or from damages. There are regulations in place which limit the maximum amount of success fee that can be charged. The maximum amount that we are entitled to take will be 25% of your compensation.
In some circumstances, if you lose you may be liable to pay your opponent’s legal costs, but it may also be possible to buy insurance to protect against this risk.
We will carefully advise you about funding in your case and if we enter a CFA with you, we will advise you at the outset about anything you may have to pay.
What is a damages based agreement?
A DBA is an agreement whereby a solicitor and a client can agree to share the risk of litigation. Payment of solicitors’ fees, counsel fees and VAT by a client under a DBA is dependent on achieving defined success criteria agreed when the DBA is entered into, and is based on a percentage of the sum recovered from the losing party/opponent.
We offer fixed fee services for a range of services. In most cases we are able to provide with a fixed fee option. This will normally be a set amount of legal fee that you will have to pay us to a certain stage in your case. Each stage of your case will attract another fee. We feel that if client’s are aware of what legal fees they will pay through their case, then still will ensure that your legal costs do not spiral out of control. We are committed in ensuring that our client obtains access to justice at affordable legal costs.
After the event insurance (ATE)
We provide ATE insurance through a broker. This means that in order to manage any risk that your case may have, we can advise you to take our an insurance policy to meet those unfortunate legal costs at a premium. Each type of case carries its own premium but they start as little as £200. If you wish to learn more about this option please contact our firm.
Trade union funding
Some trade unions have a legal advice and assistance scheme which allows you to obtain advice
Sometimes the union will act as insurance if your case is not successful. Usually, this method of funding means that the claimant gets all of their compensation at the end of the case and has no risks of paying the legal costs. Some Unions even have schemes to pay for cases brought by your children or spouse.
Legal expenses insurance
This kind of insurance policy is purchased before the accident happens and is usually attached to other insurance policies such as household, travel or motor insurance, for a small annual fee. Sometimes insurance is attached to credit card agreements, or as a benefit attached to bank accounts. Similar to legal aid, this policy will cover costs in the event of a case losing but it does not cover all the costs of the claim if the case is successful. You need to tell your solicitor about any possibility that you may already have insurance.