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We offer a range of alternative ways to fund litigation. These may include:
Private Retainer (Hourly Rate)
We charge an agreed amount per hour for the work done. This rate depends upon the nature and complexity of the case and the experience of the lawyer dealing with it.
Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)
These are sometimes known as a 'no win no fee' agreements.
Before we can consider acting under a CFA, we need to assess the merits of your case. After all, we only get paid if you win your case so we need to be confident the case is strong. This assessment will normally involve a discussion with you about the case and a review of relevant documents. We charge for this assessment. The amount we charge will depend upon how long it takes. We can often agree a fixed fee for this assessment. The costs of the assessment can be claimed from the other side if you win your case.
If we can act for you under a CFA, then we only charge you if you 'win' and if you do, our basic charges are generally recoverable from the losing party. You will just pay our success fee as this is not recoverable from the losing party.
Please note that a CFA is not a 'no recover, no fee' agreement so legal costs become payable by you upon a successful case regardless of whether the losing party pays. It is therefore important that a party to litigation who is considering instructing a solicitor (and/or barrister) to act under a CFA, considers the likely prospects of recovery of its legal costs from the other side.
Part or Mixed Conditional Fee Agreement
This is where you pay our discounted hourly rate(s) as if under a Private Retainer but then pay our normal rates and a success fee if you win.
We agree a set fee for a particular piece of work.
Legal Expenses Insurance (BTE Insurance)
You may have a Legal Expenses Policy which will cover some or all of your legal costs. These policies often form part of car or household insurance policies.
Legal Expenses Insurance (ATE Insurance)
We have good relationships with Legal Expenses Insurers and Brokers who can arrange insurance against adverse costs (having to pay the other side's costs if you lose) and your own disbursements (expenses). The cost of the premium is, however, not recoverable from the losing party unless the case is within insolvency proceedings, or is a claim for defamation or mesothelioma (see above).
Third Party Funding
This is where a Third Party, often a private equity firm, will pay your legal costs (or some of them) in return for taking a percentage of any damages (compensation) you receive. This is normally an option only when damages will be significant although because of changes to the rules about recoverability of legal costs which apply from April 2013, this option may become more prevalent.
Damages Based Agreements (DBAs)
These are agreements where if you are successful, the solicitor takes a percentage of the damages for his fees. Historically, these types of agreements were only available in limited cases which included insolvency proceedings and actions brought in certain tribunals. However, following changes made in April 2013 to the funding of litigation and in particular the recoverability of success fees in most civil litigation, solicitors and their clients may now enter into DBAs for other litigation.
Where previously a solicitor may have acted under a Conditional Fee Agreement where both his basic charges and a success fee are recoverable from the losing party, since April 2013, a successful litigant cannot recover the success fee from the losing party so the winning party will have to pay the success fee himself. It is therefore becoming more common for a litigant instead to enter into a DBA with his solicitor whereby the solicitor is paid an agreed percentage of the damages he recovers.
As a general rule in litigation, the losing party will pay the winning party's reasonable legal costs. However, if the claim is for less than 10,000 it will normally be a small claim and the winning party may only recover a very small amount of its legal costs, known as 'fixed costs' (note, however,the small claims limit is different for housing disrepair and personal injury claims). Therefore, it is often not cost-effective to instruct a solicitor to deal with a small claim although we can usually agree a fixed fee which is proportionate to the value of the claim to, for instance, write a letter or draft court papers.
We have considerable experience in advising on the best way to fund your legal case. To discuss litigation funding with one of our commercial litigation solicitors, contact our Commercial Litigation Department on 020 7404 6565 or firstname.lastname@example.org