What are the costs of making a claim?
The costs of becoming involved in a dispute can be high, which many people quite understandably find daunting. Legal aid is now only available in very limited circumstances. However, if you have a strong claim, or a strong defence to a claim, there is no reason why you should not have access to justice.
At Samuels Solicitors, based in Devon, we have a long history of providing creative and innovative financial solutions for clients throughout the South West and the whole of the UK. As long as you have a good case, we will work with you to enable you to take your matter foward.
Do you have a good case, but limited funds?
If you have a strong case against someone, but you would find it difficult to pay for legal services up front, we have developed a number of options for our clients, which can be tailored to meet your own personal needs.
There are numerous ways in which disputes can currently be funded, but we are always happy to talk to clients about fees to work out arrangements which are best suited to their particular case.
Different types of funding arrangements
Examples of the different funding arrangements we currently use are:
- No win no fee (old style CFA, or Conditional Fee Agreement) arrangements: these are still available for certain types of cases, such as slander and libel cases. If your matter is suitable for a "no win no fee" arrangement, you would not pay us anything at all (except for out of pocket expenses such as Court fees) if you went to trial and lost your case. This means that we are sharing the risk of the litigation with you and you will have our full support throughout your claim. If you win, you would become responsible for our fees, plus a success fee, the majority of which we should be able to recover from your opponent in slander and libel cases.
- No win low fee CFA, or Conditional Fee Agreement: under this type of arrangement you would pay us a percentage of our fees as the matter progresses, for example 50% of our usual rates, plus out of pocket expenses. If you lose, that is all you pay us. If you win, we would charge the remainder of our fees, plus a success fee (which we would agree between us at the outset). You would only be responsible for the out of pocket expenses, the proportion of our fees that we cannot recover from your opponent and for your success fee.
- Conditional Fee Agreements, also known as "no win no fee" agreements: these fee arrangements are available if you have a strong case. You would not pay any of our fees except for out of pocket expenses (for example, Court fees) as the matter progresses. If you lose, that is all you would have to pay. If you win, you would pay our fees, plus a success fee (which would be calculated as a percentage of our usual fees). If you win you can usually recover most of your costs from your opponent, although the success fee and any shortfall on our costs would usually be payable by you.
- Before the Event Insurance: very often, you may have an insurance policy which will cover some or all of your legal fees. This can be included in home insurance policies, and certain other types of policy. We will always explore with you whether you have the benefit of this type of insurance and we will liaise directly with your insurance company for you. If you are not sure whether or not you have legal expenses insurance, family legal cover, or home legal cover, we will be happy to have a look at your policy for you and discuss it with your insurer.
- Damage Based Agreeements: these types of arrangements are a relatively new way to fund litigation. Clients can now agree to pay solicitors a percentage of the damages they recover in their claim.The advantages of these arrangements are that you do not pay anything (except out of pocket expenses) until the end of the matter. If you lose, you do not have to pay us any fees except for out of pocket expenses. If you win, you only have to pay the fee which was agreed at the outset.
- Third Party Funding: if you have a case with good prospects of success, we can explore the possibility of funding the litigation using a third party. These third parties (who tend to be investors) agree to fund the litigation in return for a share of the damages recovered. Different levels of funding may be available. For example, the third party could pay for everything, or they could pay for all of our fees or a percentage as the case progresses, leaving you to pay the out of pocket expenses. Under some arrangements, third parties might also agree to pay your opponent's costs if you lose.
- After the Event Insurance: this can be obtained after a dispute has started and is designed to protect you against having to pay your opponent's costs if you lose. Some policies can be extended to cover your out of pocket expenses and barrister's fees. Payment of the premium can usually be deferred until the outcome of the matter, but you can no longer recover the premium from your opponent if you win. In certain cases, the premiums themselves can be self insured, meaning that even if you lose, you would not have to pay the premium to the insurer. This type of insurance cover can be fairly complex to arrange, and we will be happy to put everything in place for you and liaise with the insurer.
What can Samuels Solicitors do for you?
At Samuels Solicitors, we are committed to ensuring that where you have a strong case, you should have the opportunity to bring it. Access to justice is becoming more and more difficult, but if you have suffered financial loss as a result of someone else's actions, we would like to support you to bring your claim.
We work closely with insurance providers and we have close links with many barristers who are also willing to work flexibly when it comes to their fees and so we are able to put together whole legal teams all working flexibly and in our clients' best interests.
If you would like to explore your options for funding your case, contact us for a free, no obligation discussion about any type of matter.