No-win, no-fee – How it really works


By Cassandra Anane

Bearing the costs of a solicitor can often be one of the most concerning factors for a person wishing to pursue a case. On average solicitors fees can range from £150-£400 per hour. However, for those who simply can’t afford this sum of money and do not qualify for legal aid, there may be a few funding solutions open to you depending on the particular area of law. The main funding option, which often has a lot of myths surrounding it, tends to be no-win, no-fee (NWNF) agreements. This article attempts to clear up some of these myths.

NWNF agreements are often applicable to high valued cases such as employment, negligence and personal injury (PI) matters; however the way in which it’s structured varies.

For instance, almost all personal injury and some negligence cases are taken on under a NWNF agreement. This means particularly with regards to PI that clients don’t have to pay any money on account and all compensation at the end is fully received.

Employment law claims

However, with employment matters NWNF is not something which can simply be requested, as these matters are judged on a case-by-case basis by solicitors. For a solicitor to determine whether a case is viable or not, a lot of background work needs to be completed. This includes reading case notes, bundles, witness statements etc.

Risk assessments

For a solicitor to do all of this work, often a risk assessment fee would need to be paid. The value of this is discretional and would depend on the complexities of the case. Once this is completed and the solicitor has decided to take it on, they will go to court push for the highest amount of compensation available and then take a percentage of anything between 20%-40%.

Example employment case

A good example of this would be a case which I recently discovered. The client felt that she was being discriminated against on the grounds of her disability. A solicitor recommended by Contact Law offered to take this on under a NWNF agreement. The client was charged an initial £300 for the solicitor to conduct a risk assessment. Once this was complete the solicitor decided that it was a strong case. After months of preparing for court the judge found in favour of the client and awarded her a sum of £30,000, of which the solicitor took 30%.

To discuss whether your case meets the criteria for a NWNF agreement, get in touch with us at Contact law and we will be happy to talk through your options for funding.

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