With the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) on 1 April 2013, some reports in the media have wrongly commented on the death of 'no win, no fee' funding arrangements for personal injury claims.
Whilst the rules which govern "No win, no fee" arrangements (known as "Conditional Fee Agreements" or "CFAs") have been changed by the new Act, CFAs remain in place and still represent an option for injured claimants who wish to bring personal injury claims.
So how have the rules changed and how do they affect injured claimants?
Under the new arrangements, CFAs continue to be available. You still won't have to pay up front for your own legal fees, nor will you have to pay your lawyer's fees if the case is lost. The fundamental difference relates to the success fee which, if you have won your case, you will now have to pay. The success fee is capped at 25% of the damages you are awarded.
Tom Hartigan, Associate solicitor and specialist personal injury solicitor at Trethowans solicitors comments "It is disappointing that some reports of the new changes mistakenly comment on the end of CFAs. This is not the case at all. CFAs continue to be a valuable funding option for injured claimants. The difference is that the new regulations means that claimants, rather than defendants, now have to pay the success fee if they win their case. This does undermine the principle that genuinely injured people should be fully compensated for their injuries and financial losses, but despite this CFAs are still on offer to assist those who seek to bring a claim."