What Are Conditional Fee Agreements?

What are conditional fee agreements guide

What are conditional fee agreements guide?

If you’ve suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. When making a personal injury claim, many personal injury lawyers are open to signing a Conditional Fee Agreement with the claimant. You may be wondering ‘What are Conditional Fee Agreements?’ This guide will aim to answer any questions you may have.

A Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) is a legal agreement between a claimant and a personal injury lawyer. It sets out the conditions that must be met in order for the solicitor to achieve their success fee.

You may have some questions about a No Win No Fee agreement, such as:

  • What is a Conditional Fee Agreement?
  • Is it really No Win No Fee?
  • What is the success fee in a Conditional Fee Agreement?

This article will answer these questions and offer as much information about how working with a No Win No Fee solicitor works. Our team of advisers are available 24/7 to offer free legal advice and answer any questions you may have.

If you have a valid claim, an adviser can connect you to a personal injury solicitor to discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you. They can then begin the claims process and help you receive the compensation you deserve.

You can get in touch with our friendly team of advisers by:

  • Calling them on 0800 073 8801 to have a chat about your situation.
  • Filling in our online claims form to receive a response at your earliest convenience.
  • Chatting with an adviser via our live chat pop-up box for a reply immediately.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide On What Conditional Fee Agreements Are
  2. What Are Conditional Fee Agreements?
  3. What Is Covered By A Conditional Fee Agreement?
  4. How Do CFAs And DBAs Work?
  5. What Happens If Your Claim Is Successful Or Unsuccessful?
  6. Could You Terminate A Conditional Fee Agreement?
  7. What Steps Can You Take If The Defendant Doesn’t Pay?
  8. What Are Conditional Fee Agreement Charges And Fees?
  9. Is A Damages Based Agreement Different To A No Win No Fee Claim?
  10. Conditional Fee Agreement Rule Updates
  11. How To Calculate A Compensation Settlement
  12. What Special Damages Could You Claim?
  13. Solicitors And No Win No Fee Agreements
  14. Speak To A CFA Claims Advisor
  15. Learn More
  16. Frequently Asked Questions

A Guide On What Conditional Fee Agreements Are

Firstly, this guide will answer the question ‘What are Conditional Fee Agreements CFA’s?’ and look at what a Damages Based Agreement DBA is. Next, there’ll be sections exploring what is covered by a Conditional Fee Agreement and how CFAs and DBAs work. The guide will also discuss what happens if your claim is successful or unsuccessful when claiming with a No Win No Fee solicitor.

No Win No Fee agreements can be used in personal injury cases such as accidents at works, public place accidents such as slips trips and falls, road traffic accidents and medical negligence cases.

Furthermore, the article will talk about whether you can terminate Conditional Fee Agreements and what steps can be taken if the defendant refuses to pay. There’ll also be sections looking at what Conditional Fee Agreement charges are and whether a Damage Based Agreement is different.

Additionally, there’ll be a section informing you of the updates to the Conditional Fee Agreement rules. There will also be a compensation table and a section exploring what special damages can offer compensation for. Moreover, a section will explain No Win No Fee agreements. Finally, there’ll be some further guides and FAQ’s to ensure you leave this guide with as much knowledge as possible about ‘What are Conditional Fee Agreements?’

What Are Conditional Fee Agreements?

Firstly let’s look at the concept of No Win No Fee. This is an umbrella term for contracts such as Conditional Fee Agreement CFA, Contingency Fee Agreements and Damage Based Agreements. Each has different qualities. A CFA is a financial agreement between a personal injury solicitor and a claimant. It allows claimants from all different financial backgrounds the choice of hiring a solicitor as there are no upfront fees to pay.

It states that the claimant only has to pay the solicitors fees if their claim succeeds. If the personal injury claim succeeds, a small, legally capped percentage of the compensation will be given to the solicitor. This is called a success fee.

What is a Damage Based Agreement?

A DBA is another type of No Win No Fee Agreement. It is an agreement between a personal injury solicitor and a claimant where they both share the risk. Both parties agree upon success criteria when the DBA is signed. The claimant paying the solicitors fees is dependent on whether the success criteria are met.

This means the solicitor will set an amount of compensation they’ll try to help you receive. If you receive this amount of compensation or higher, your lawyer will deduct a percentage of this compensation as a success fee.

What Is Covered By A Conditional Fee Agreement?

You may decide you’d like to work with a personal injury lawyer. Many solicitors offer Conditional Fee Agreements. This contract that will be entered into both by the solicitor and the claimant will set out the terms and conditions that must be achieved for the solicitor to receive their success fee. It will also state what is covered by the agreement.

Before a solicitor will offer to work on those bases they will want to completely assess your case. This is also a chance for your personal injury solicitor to see what evidence you’ve gathered and whether this is sufficient. You and your lawyer may also have a discussion about the chances of your claim being successful.

Furthermore, your personal injury lawyer may explain any costs involved and what services are covered by the CFA. You and your solicitor will agree upon the percentage of a success fee before you physically sign an agreement.

How Do CFAs And DBAs Work?

You will need to pay a success fee for both CFAs and DBAs if your claim succeeds. However, if your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay this success fee. However, the success fee will vary depending on the type of agreement.

If you use a CFA, your solicitor will deduct a legally capped percentage of your compensation. This percentage should be based on how much work the solicitor has done.

However, if you use a DBA, your lawyer will try to get you a pre-agreed amount of compensation in your claim. If they successfully receive this amount or more, a percentage of this will be deducted by your lawyer as a success fee. This success fee is usually a higher percentage than a CFA.

What Happens If Your Claim Is Successful Or Unsuccessful?

Under a CFA, you’ll pay a legally capped percentage of your compensation to your lawyer if your claim succeeds. Alternatively, you won’t have to pay this fee if your claim is unsuccessful.

Although you won’t have to pay your solicitors fees if your claim fails, you may be required to pay the defendants fees. If you’d like, you may have the option to take out insurance to cover these costs as a precaution before your claim proceeds.

Your home insurance policy may already have you covered by Before The Event Insurance (BTE), which can apply to your accident. If you don’t, you can take out After The Event Insurance (ATE). If you’re requested to pay the defendant’s legal costs, you can be covered by ATE.

Could You Terminate A Conditional Fee Agreement?

The first 14 days of a CFA is known as the ‘cooling-off period’ where you’re given time to reconsider your decision. Generally, you can withdraw at any time during these 14 days without facing a penalty charge.

If you withdraw after 14 days, you may have to pay for the time your solicitor has spent on the case up to the point of your withdrawal. However, you should always read the terms and conditions before signing any agreement as different law firms have different rules.

To receive more information about CFAs, you can chat with an adviser today who can offer free legal advice. They can answer any questions you may have and assess how much compensation you may be able to receive in your claim.

What Steps Can You Take If The Defendant Doesn’t Pay?

If your claim is successful but the defendant refuses to pay you compensation, there are various things you can do. One of your options is for you and your solicitor to appeal to the court and ask for their help.

If you’re owed over £5,000, you can put in an application to bankrupt the defendant. The possibility of becoming bankrupt may convince the defendant to pay you.

If you’d like more advice about what you can do if the defendant doesn’t pay, you can get in touch with our expert team of advisers. They’d be happy to offer free legal advice and talk through your situation.

What Are Conditional Fee Agreement Charges And Fees?

Many claimants opt for CFAs because there are no upfront fees and no fees to their solicitors if the case fails. Although you may be required to pay fees to the defendant’s side.

This will be discussed with you before you and your lawyer proceed with the CFA. Generally, you should be informed of any CFA charges and fees before you begin the claim. As every law firm has its own take on the CFA there might be different charges and fees. Always read any document before you sign so that you are aware of charges and there are no unpleasant surprises.

You can contact our team of advisers today to discuss this type of agreement and the possible charges and fees you may incur.

Is A Damages Based Agreement Different To A No Win No Fee Claim?

A No Win No Fee agreement refers to both CFAs and DBAs. However, the success fee is calculated differently in both of these No Win No Fee agreements.

No matter how much compensation you receive in a CFA, your lawyer will deduct a percentage of it. It’s the lawyer’s decision whether they deduct a lower or higher amount of compensation.

However, this percentage is legally capped so they’re not allowed to deduct more than a certain amount. This percentage is usually based on how much work your lawyer has done.

With DBAs, the percentage deducted is agreed upon between you and your solicitor before the claim begins. This means that regardless of how much work is put into the claim the percentage deducted will stay the same.

The deducted percentage in DBAs tends to be higher than in CFAs. You can get in touch with our team of advisers today to discuss these agreements in more detail and have a chat about your case. If your claim is valid and you’d like to file a claim, an adviser can connect you to a personal injury solicitor.

Conditional Fee Agreement Rule Updates

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) changed who paid the success fee. Before 2012, lawyers could recover success fees from the defendant. Now, the success fee is taken from the claimants’ compensation.

Additionally, the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 introduced a percentage cap. Solicitors are legally unable to deduct more than the percentage stated in this Act.

If you’d like to discuss more about the CFA rule updates, you can have a chat with our friendly team of advisers who’d be happy to help. They can discuss your situation with you and explore what your next steps can be.

How To Calculate A Compensation Settlement

Some guides may include a personal injury calculator to show how much compensation an injury could receive in compensation. However, we’ve instead included a compensation table outlining the possible compensation amounts of various types of injuries.

These are the latest figures taken from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a publication that lists past injury values from court settlement cases and should only ever be used as a guide as each case is unique. This compensation table is purely an example and the figures may vary.

Injury:Notes:Compensation:
Psychiatric Damage Generally Moderately Severe. An example of this is a psychiatric injury caused by a stillborn that happened due to negligence. Also, work-related stress that causes a permanent disability. £17,900 to £51,460
Psychiatric Damage Generally Moderate. Significant improvement in symptoms with a positive prognosis. £5,500 to £17,900
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe. The person is unable to work at all due to permanent effects leaving them unable to function as they did before the trauma. £56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderately Severe. Significant disability for a long period of time. However, recovery can occur with professional support. £21,730 to £56,180
Back InjuriesSevere (i). Nerve roots and spinal cord damage, resulting in serious consequences that are uncommon in back injuries. £85,470 to £151,070
Back InjuriesModerate (i). The lumbar vertebrae are fractured which results in a high risk of osteoarthritis. £26,050 to £36,390

The compensation figures in the above table consist of general damages. The awarded bracket depends on how severe the injury is and how lengthy the treatment is. Personal injury claims usually split compensation into general damages and special damages.

General damages offer compensation for the injury itself and how it’s affected you physically and mentally. For example, you may have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after your injuries.

Special damages compensate for the financial loss the injuries have caused you. However, you must provide evidence of this loss or it may be difficult to claim special damages. You can contact our team of advisers for more in-depth information about this.

What Special Damages Could You Claim? 

Special damages compensation is for the financial impact your injuries have had on your life. Some examples of financial loss special damages can compensate you for are:

  • Loss of earnings – If your injuries caused you to take time off to work whilst recovering, you may have suffered a loss of earnings. An example of evidence you could provide for this is payslips.
  • Care costs – Sometimes, people’s injuries are so severe they have to hire a carer to take care of basic household chores, such as cooking and cleaning. Special damages may be able to compensate you for the money you spent on this.
  • Medication costs – Special damages can also compensate for the money you spent out of pocket for the medication you were prescribed for your injuries. To prove this, you can gather your prescriptions.
  • Costs of travel – If you had to travel to and from medical appointments, you may have had to pay out of your own pocket. An example of evidence you could use to prove this is bus tickets or bank statements.

If you’d like to discuss more about special damages and what they provide compensation for, our team of advisers would be glad to help. If your claim is legitimate, they can connect you to an experienced personal injury lawyer from our team if you’d like to proceed with a claim.

Solicitors And No Win No Fee Agreements

Our solicitors all work on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you won’t be obligated to pay your solicitors fees if your case is unsuccessful. If your case succeeds, your lawyer will deduct a small, legally capped percentage of your compensation.

There’s little to lose, so why wait? You can get in touch with our team of advisers today to discuss your situation and discuss No Win No Fee agreements.

Speak To A CFA Claims Advisor  

Our friendly team of advisers would be happy to have a chat with you about your situation. They can assess how much compensation you may be entitled to and explore your possible next steps.

Once you’ve spoken with an adviser, you’re not obligated to continue with our services. However, if you’d like, an adviser can connect you with an expert personal injury solicitor. They can then begin the claims process with you and explore No Win No Fee agreements.

You can get in touch with our team of advisers via:

  • Telephone on 0800 073 8801 to discuss your case today.
  • Our online claims form where you can fill out your details and receive a response whenever is best for you.
  • Our live chat pop-up box to receive an immediate response.

Learn More 

Wrongful Death Claims – If a loved one has passed due to an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, our guide explores how you can make a fatal accident claim.

Accident At Work Claims Guide – If you’ve suffered a workplace accident due to your employer’s negligence, our article looks at how you can make a personal injury claim.

Clinical & Medical Negligence Claims Guide – Have you experienced clinical and medical negligence? Our guide talks about how you can make a clinical negligence claim.

How Do I Know If I’ve Broken A Bone? – If you suspect you may have suffered a bone fracture, this NHS guide includes information you should know.

Broken Ankle – Have you suffered a broken ankle injury due to negligence? This NHS article includes the signs of a broken ankle.

Broken Arm Or Wrist– If you think you may have broken your wrist or arm, this NHS guide explains what you can do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to sign a conditional fee agreement?

The option is yours whether you use a solicitor or not. If you chose to use a solicitor to represent your case they may offer to work under No Win No Fee terms. Not all law firms offer this. Some may work in a different way.

What concerns do people have about conditional fee agreements?

Some people are worried that CFAs include hidden payments. Always read the contract before you sign.

Thank you for reading our guide on ‘What are Conditional Fee Agreements?’ 

Guide by SN

Edited by MM.