It is important that you understand your responsibilities for the other side’s legal costs and ours. A person pursing a claim is responsible for his own legal costs and must recover those costs from the other party at the conclusion of the claim if he wins. If he loses the case he is responsible not only for his own, but also his opponent’s legal costs.
We have agreed to pursue your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement. A Conditional Fee Agreement is an agreement whereby [except for certain situations] we agree not to charge you a fee if you lose your claim. The Conditional Fee Agreement may allow for a success fee, whereby we are paid an additional fee for winning the claim.
It is important that you read and understand the Conditional Fee Agreement and the Law Society Conditions which you will receive should you become our client.
If you win your claim you are liable to pay our basic charges, expenses and disbursements, a success fee and, if appropriate an Insurance Premium. Normally you will be able to recover from your opponent part of our basic charges expenses and disbursements but not the success fee and the Insurance Premium. However, if the amount agreed by your opponent does not cover all our basic charges, expenses and disbursements and Insurance Premium, you will be responsible for the difference.
If you or your opponent cannot agree the amount of our basic charges, disbursements success fee or insurance premium you have the right to have our fees and expenses assessed by the court. The procedure for doing this is available from our office upon request or from the office of the County Court. It involves making a request to the court for our fees to be the subject of a Detailed Assessment by the court.
Although we will act for you on a ‘no win no fee’ basis there are some situations in which you could be liable for our fees. If you do not comply with your responsibilities as detailed below we have the right to terminate the agreement and to seek payment of our costs from you. We can also end this agreement if we believe that you are unlikely to win your claim or to better any offer but you disagree with us and at your insistence we proceed with the claim. If this happens you will pay our costs. You can terminate the agreement at any time but in such circumstances we will require payment of our fees.
Our charges are based on the time we spend dealing with a case. Time spent on your claim will include meeting with you and perhaps others, any time spent travelling, considering, preparing and working on papers, correspondence and making and receiving telephone calls. Our charges are calculated for each hour engaged on your matter. Routine letters and telephone calls will be charged as units of one tenth of an hour. Other letters and telephone calls will be charged on a time basis. Our hourly rates will be discussed with you directly should you wish to make a claim.
When calculating our charges, we may in addition to the time spent on the matter take into account a number of other factors, which include the complexity of the issues, the speed at which action must be taken, the expertise or specialist knowledge that the case requires and, if appropriate, the value of the claim.
The hourly rates will be reviewed on 1 January each year and you will be notified in writing of any increased rates.
If you win your claim we will in addition to our basic charges and disbursements, seek a success fee. The basis of the success fee and the method of calculation are set out in the Conditional Fee Agreement and the Schedule thereto.
We add VAT at the current rate of 20% to the total of the basic charges and success fee.
Due to the nature of your claim, it is impossible to estimate our final charges. However, the information presently available to us suggests that you have reasonable prospects of success in pursuing your claim and recovering part or all of our basic charges, expenses and disbursements from your opponent, but not the success fee or any Insurance Premium.