What Does ‘No Win, No Fee’ Mean

A ‘No Win, No Fee’ is a legal arrangement in which the solicitor does not charge any fee to the client, in case the client’s compensation claim is rejected by court. For instance, if a passenger makes a claim for flight delay in the court, he or she does not have to pay the solicitor any fees if the claim is unsuccessful. The solicitor can charge legal fees only if the case is won, under a ‘No Win, No Fee’ system.

The section was introduced in the English Law by the ‘Courts and Legal Services Act, 1990’ under Section 58, with the secondary legislations being made in 1995. The ‘Courts and Legal Services Act of 1990’ was amended by Section 27 of the Access to Justice Act 1999 in April, 2000 to allow the collection of success fees from the losing party. To put it in a nutshell, the losing party has to pay the winning party’s legal fees. The ‘Conditional Fee Agreements Regulations, 2000’ accompanied the law earlier, but was revoked in November 2005, making it much easier for solicitors and clients to get into conditional fee agreements.

General features of the law

The law provides a viable option to people who cannot afford to pay for legal representation. It allows the claimant to get justice without having to worry about the costs related to lawsuits. If the claimant wins, he/she is expected to pay the fee from the compensation and the solicitor also receives bonus/success fee from the defendant.

In case the claimant loses, he/she may be expected to pay the opposing party’s charges including solicitor fees and court fees. In that case, it is necessary for the claimant to go in for an ‘After Event’ insurance scheme, which can be arranged by the solicitor. An ‘After Event’ insurance covers the risk for a premium that will be eventually be paid by the claimant or the solicitor. Claimants must enquire about the option before getting into an agreement with the solicitor.

How does it work with flight delay claims, UK?

Many firms offer to take up cases on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis for delayed flight claims. The Passenger is expected to fill up a simple form with the representing firm and submit it. The rest of the formalities are handled by the firm. These firms take care of everything – right from representing the client in the court to collecting all legal correspondences with the airline. They also negotiate with the concerned airlines in place of the passenger and even offer to pay court fees.