What is a “no-win, no-fee” or conditional fee agreement? Hegarty Solicitors Ask the Experts column
What is a “no-win, no-fee” or conditional fee agreement?
The answer from Andrew Hornsby of Hegarty Solicitors:
Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) are widely used in litigation and are commonly referred to as “no-win no-fee” agreements. CFAs ensure claimants can bring a claim with relative financial security, as legal costs are only paid if the case is successful. Solicitors working on this basis do not earn a fee if the claim is unsuccessful, so to compensate the solicitor for the risk, success fees enable the solicitor to recover fees for cases that they win. A success fee is a percentage uplift on the solicitors’ basic fees which would be payable if no CFA were in place.
A recent Court of Appeal judgment in the case of Hirachand v Hirachand has brought CFAs into the spotlight for inheritance disputes. The judge in this case assessed whether a costs order may include provision for the CFA success fee. The Court of Appeal found that the judge was right to include the CFA success fee within evaluation of the claimant’s financial needs and deemed it a recoverable debt by the court.
The decision in this case may encourage more claimants to seek to fund Inheritance Act claims using CFAs on the understanding that provision for the success fee could be included in an award from the estate, however judicial discretion will be used to award such costs.
If you would like further information regarding Conditional Fee Agreements or making a claim under the Inheritance Act please contact us. Call 01733 346 333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.