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Andy111

No win no fee advice

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In short, my child was involved in an accident on a bus when with the mother resulting in a moderate injury to the child. Mother decides to go and see a no win no fee solicitor to see what they think, for which they are willing to take the case on.

 

A load of confusing paperwork has turned up including the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). In short the CFA states what IS covered under the agreement is: claim for damages, any application for pre-action or non party disclosure, any appeal by opponent, any appeal against an interim order or an assessment of costs, any proceedings to enforce judgement, negotiations about and/or a court assessment of costs of claim.

 

What IS NOT included is any counterclaim or any appeal the claimant makes against final judgement.

 

Now I'm no expert on no win no fee issues, but it strikes me that nothing is mentioned in relation to any potential costs liable on the claimant (my partner on behalf of daughter) if either the solicitor pulls out in relation to defence costs.

 

What happens if things proceed to court months down the road and the solicitor is unable to source a barrister also on a no win no fee basis leaving us to pay for as as of yet not mentioned after the event insurance policy that could cost us several hundreds to proceed or drop the case leaving the partner liable for all costs?.

 

Any advice as I've told my partner to not sign the CFA yet until I can get clarification on potential unstated costs that could be unavoidable months down the road.

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Every firm is different, but most get the ATE signed up early on. A few will get you to take it out before you issue Court proceedings.

 

Counsel is also usually signed up to a CFA before Court proceedings are issued.

 

If your solicitor issues Court proceedings then before trial tells you to discontinue, then your ATE will cover the Defendant's costs (providing you haven't been dishonest about any part of the claim)

 

There may also be a 25% deduction from your child's damages for their own legal fees and a couple of hundred quid for the ATE, if they win.

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A couple of alternatives to a NWNF solicitor: If you have legal expenses cover with your household insurance, they may be willing to take the case on.

If you are a union member, many unions provide an accident claim service that extends to immediate family members.


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Every firm is different, but most get the ATE signed up early on. A few will get you to take it out before you issue Court proceedings.

 

Counsel is also usually signed up to a CFA before Court proceedings are issued.

 

If your solicitor issues Court proceedings then before trial tells you to discontinue, then your ATE will cover the Defendant's costs (providing you haven't been dishonest about any part of the claim)

 

There may also be a 25% deduction from your child's damages for their own legal fees and a couple of hundred quid for the ATE, if they win.

 

Thanks for the replies, this is kind of how I understand things for the main. The part that concerns me is if my partner signs the CFA and after that point is told she also needs an AFE policy that would likely cost several hundreds and its rejected to the costs, is she then going to be liable for any or all accumulated solicitor costs to that point seeing as a CFA will have been signed (including what looks to be costly costs for medical record requests and medicals)?. As if she rejects the AFE (due to cost) and cant\wont go forwards without it, could she be classed as stopping the case and in breach of the CFA?.

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What ATE costs? ATE is needed to protect you against the other sides legal costs, but also against paying for your own disbursements like the medical report.

 

Most firms will require an ATE policy (if you don't already have some form of legal expense insurance) before they incur disbursements. Otherwise they often will require you to pay on account for the cost of medical reports etc.

 

The policy is almost always self insuring so if the claim loses or is discontinued on the advice of your solicitor there is nothing to pay.

 

If you don't win then there is no fee. The clue is in the name. :)

 

If you win then the cost of the ATE will usually be deducted from the settlement monies, along with 25% for your own legal fees.

 

Normally the only way you'd be liable to pay anything out of your own pocket is if you were dishonest about any part of the claim, rejected a settlement offer against the advice of your solicitor or tried to withdraw the claim for no good reason after costs and disbursements have been incurred.

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Yes, I can kind of understand that, but if my partner is hit with an ATE policy and cost that's unaffordable weeks\months down the road after signing the CFA and the solicitor says she cant\shouldnt proceed to court proceedings without it, does the CFA normally cover costs to that point if she pretty much says she can't afford to go to court?, or would she be in breach of the CFA for not agreeing to the solicitor recommendations to sign up for a ATE policy that will be unaffordable?.

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Why would your partner be hit with an unaffordable ATE premium?

 

If the claim fails or is withdrawn on the advice of your solicitor then the premium is self insuring so there is nothing to pay (unless there is some dishonesty).

 

If the claim wins then the ATE premium is deducted from the settlement monies.

 

Either way, your partner doesn't pay for the ATE policy from her own pocket.

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Why would your partner be hit with an unaffordable ATE premium?

 

If the claim fails or is withdrawn on the advice of your solicitor then the premium is self insuring so there is nothing to pay (unless there is some dishonesty).

 

If the claim wins then the ATE premium is deducted from the settlement monies.

 

Either way, your partner doesn't pay for the ATE policy from her own pocket.

 

Ahh, I get you, the ATE isn't paid up front then?, If so that's helps a lot I guess, as paying for an ATE policy up front was a major concern. More so in that there is no mention of a ATE policy in the initial paperwork. Unless on first look the solicitor might see it as an open and shut case seeing as there is supposed to be video evidence of the incident from the company for which they was not forthcoming with, hence the solicitor visit.

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No, the ATE premium is not paid up front.

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Ahh, I get you, the ATE isn't paid up front then?, If so that's helps a lot I guess, as paying for an ATE policy up front was a major concern. More so in that there is no mention of a ATE policy in the initial paperwork. Unless on first look the solicitor might see it as an open and shut case seeing as there is supposed to be video evidence of the incident from the company for which they was not forthcoming with, hence the solicitor visit.

 

Even an "open and shut" case can become convoluted if new facts materialise, so there is always some degree of "litigation risk", even with an "open and shut case".

So, that wouldn't be a reason for a solicitor to change their approach to funding as they'd never assume "100% win", even if they felt it was CLOSE to 100%, or likely to be as close to 100% as ever could be - they still wouldn't assume 100%!

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