There are a number of ways in which a claimant can proceed with a claim.
Private Client Agreement
An arrangement whereby fees are charged according to the time spent by a Solicitor on the case. If the claim succeeds the claimant would normally obtain an Order for Costs against their opponent. Should the claim fail the claimant would be faced with a bill from their Solicitor. For this type of arrangement, the Solicitor would normally expect the claimant to make payments on account, as the case proceeds.
Conditional Fee Agreement
More commonly known as NO WIN – NO FEE. Introduced by the Government in 1995 this type of agreement is rapidly becoming the most popular method of funding. If a claim is successful the opponent pays basic costs together with disbursements. The claimant pays the success fee which is capped at 25% of compensation received. Should a claim be unsuccessful, as a general rule, the claimant pays no costs to their Solicitor or to their opponent but would be liable for any disbursements the Solicitor had incurred on their behalf, e.g. medical reports, engineering reports, court fees etc. Insurance may be available to cover this liability.
In mesothelioma claims all costs and disbursements, and the cost of any insurance policy, can generally be recovered from the opponent thus leaving the client with 100% of all compensation monies.
Legal Aid is no longer available to pursue these types of cases, having been withdrawn by the Government in March 2000.
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