There are different arrangements you can make with your legal representative as they pursue your interests in court. The traditional arrangement is for the lawyer to bill you their services in an hourly fashion, accruing expenses as they spend working time on your behalf.
An alternate arrangement that is available from some law firms is a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement. This is best suited for individuals that might incur costs while pursuing a potential settlement or a court awarded payout. For example, if you are looking to recover costs for medical bills that were the result of a work-related accident and you do not have the financial ability to pursue your interests in court, a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement might be the best model for your case.
Let’s examine exactly what a ‘no win, no fee’ legal arrangement entails.
Simply stated, a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement with your lawyer means that there is no fee if they do not win your case. A lawyer will only enter into this arrangement once they can review the details of your case and have a certain level of confidence that your case is winnable.
If the case is won, then the amount that you pay to your lawyer is charged from the money won from the case. Because the lawyer is assuming a much larger burden of risk in a ‘no win, no fee’ situation, they are compensated with a higher comparative fee than if you paid on an hourly basis.
Make sure you go through every point of your agreement with your lawyer, so you can understand all of your obligations and your rights before signing.
If you lose your case, then it is possible that you will have pay the other party’s legal fees. The lawyer will not pay this amount for you, but you will not be charged for their time spent on your case. Before you start any case, it’s important that you have a frank and open conversation with your lawyer about the potential costs you may incur if you are unsuccessful in court.
You are also liable for disbursements and uplift fees, if they are needed for your case. They are not considered legal fees and are outside of the scope of a ‘no win, no fee’ payment arrangement.
Contingency fees are a clause to a ‘no win, no fee’ payment agreement to protect the lawyer if they lose your case. A contingency fee normally appears as a percentage of any losses or damages that are awarded by the court.
Contingency fees are illegal in most Australian states.
Get Professional Advice
Contact the team at Bartels Lawyers for more information on whether a ‘no win, no fee’ legal arrangement is right for your case and needs. There are particular situations where this type of agreement with your lawyer makes sense for you and there are times when it doesn’t.
Bartels Lawyers are legal experts in several different areas of law and can put the full expertise of their law firm, including worker’s compensation, family law, personal injury, wills & estates, and conveyancing. Remember, the first rule to protect your rights and interests in court is to get legal representation immediately. There is never too early, but there is too late.