Lawyers are expensive and the reality is that most people simply cannot afford the cost of litigation no matter how strong a case they may have. No win, no fee lawyers or legal representation on a contingency basis is a great solution for those who cannot afford costly legal fees. But what is contingency, how does it work and how can it benefit your legal situation?
Lawyer Fees & Costs
Basically it means that the lawyers fees are contingent upon them winning the case and mostly applies to litigation where some type of financial settlement or award will be granted by the court. The lawyers involved in the representation will then take a percentage of the settlement amount which will be agreed upon before they take on the case. You may still be required to cover the court and other legal costs associated with the case.
The lawyer will determine whether the likely financial award will be sufficient to cover their costs. However, it is up to you, the client, to determine whether the costs that will still allow you to receive sufficient relief. For example, in the event of damages being paid, will the remaining settlement amount be enough to cover the financial losses suffered by you.
In some cases, a lawyer may take into account additional factors that you may claim for as part of a personal injury or other suit against a third party. For instance, they may claim for loss of income, emotional distress or any other aggravating circumstances that arose from the alleged incident. Evidence of these claims will need to be presented to the court in order for a monetary amount to be awarded.
However, in most cases, a lawyer will attempt to reach a settlement out of court to avoid costly legal fees. Although this may result in a settlement being lower than could be won in court, it also cancels out the risk that the case may be lost in court. Negotiating a settlement is often the best course of action for all parties involved.
Using A Financier
If there is no option but for the case to go to court, a lawyer may involve a financier to cover the legal costs of the proceedings. A finacier will provide for all the legal financial requirements until a decision is reached by the court. If a monetary amount is awarded by the court, the financier will receive a percentage of this amount or the out of court settlement amount, over and above the lawyers fees.
If no financial amount is awarded by the court, neither the lawyer or the financier will receive compensation for their representation or for financing the proceedings. This means that you, the client, cannot be held liable for any legal fees whatsoever.
It is however very important to ensure that the point of “No win, no fees” is highlighted in the contract between yourself and the lawyer as well as the financier to ensure that you cannot be held responsible for any costs associated with the court case once proceedings have been finalized.