No Win No Fee – the key facts

15 questions have been answered below, , why not ask your own?

No Win No Fee is a common way of making a claim for personal injury compensation without the claimant risking extremely expensive legal fees. However, there are important key facts potential claimants should understand and consider regarding this method of funding legal action before they instruct a Solicitor to act for them.

Table of contents:

No Win No Fee Summarised

The option of being able to pursue a legal action on a No Win No Fee basis is an important and vital legal right that affords people the opportunity to seek justice and redress from a 3rd party, without risk to their own finances. Without No Win No Fee options, a claimant would have to have personal wealth to be able to pursue their claim.

A No Win No Fee agreement (officially known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) enables a Solicitor to pursue a claim on the basis that they will charge no fee to the claimant if they fail to succeed with the claim. If successful, it allows the Solicitor to recover the majority of the claimant’s legal fees from the defendant and deduct a small percentage from the claimant’s settlement to cover the remaining fees.

A Solicitor will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a claim at the outset before they then decide if the prospect of success outweighs the prospect of failure. If a Solicitor is of the view that the claim has a realistic prospect of succeeding, they may offer to pursue the matter for the claimant on a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win No Fee) basis.

A claimant will pay nothing if their claim is unsuccessful so long as they have not acted fraudulently and have cooperated fully with their Solicitor during the pursuit of the claim.

What do I pay if I win my claim?

If a Solicitor succeeds with a No Win No Fee claim for their client, they will ensure that the full extent of any injury (and the long term consequences of the injury) are fully understood and that the maximum amount of compensation will be negotiated for the injury. Also, the Solicitor will ensure that all lost income and incurred costs that can be attributed to the injury are recovered. This will form the total settlement of the claim and the value will be agreed between the Solicitor and claimant and then negotiated with the defendants.

When settlement is agreed and the balance forwarded to the claimant, the Solicitor will – as per the terms of the Conditional Fee Agreement (no win no fee) signed at the outset, deduct up to 25% of the awarded compensation. This deduction goes towards the Solicitors legal fees, with further costs chargeable to the defendant. The only other cost that a claimant may face on success of their claim is for any provided After the Event (ATE) insurance cover that the Solicitor had to put in place at the outset of the claim. The law prohibits successful claimants from recovering the cost of ATE cover from the defendants on success of a claim. If such cover is needed, the cost is typically between £150 & £250 but this can vary. Again, it is only payable if and when a claim succeeds and never payable if a claim fails.

If a claimant has pre-existing Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) cover in place, a Solicitor will attempt to use that, meaning that there will be no further cost when succeeding with a claim.

What do I pay if I lose my claim?

Whilst any claim that is pursued is taken on with the genuine hope of succeeding, there is always a possibility that the claim will fail. It may be that the defendants are able to mount a robust defence at the outset and demonstrate that the claim will not succeed, or it could be that the claim end in a court hearing and a judge decides that it is not reasonable to hold the defendant liable.

Whilst the failure of any claim is extremely disappointing for the claimant, the claimant will not face any costs whatsoever in such circumstances, so long as the information they have provided to their Solicitor was honest and they have cooperated fully with their Solicitor during the process of the claim.

The claimant will not pay their own Solicitor’s costs, or those of the defendants, as the liability for such costs will be met by the Solicitor by way of the claimant’s pre-existing LEI cover or by way of ATE  insurance cover put in place by the Solicitor. It is important to note that the claimant will NOT pay for any ATE cover if their claim is not successful.

Can I ever be charged if my claim fails?

If you, as a claimant, have acted honestly, cooperated with your Solicitor fully (answered questions, attended medical assessments, responded to queries etc) you will never pay a penny to any person should the claim eventually fail for reasons beyond your control.

However, claimants must be aware that a Solicitor does withhold the right to recover costs if it is found that a claimant has acted fraudulently and caused the Solicitor to incur costs in their efforts to pursue a claim that is found to be dishonest or incorrect. Also, if a claim were to fail because a claimant failed to cooperate with their Solicitor, return signed authorities within an agreed deadline, failed to attend a medical assessment or court hearing, a Solicitor is within their rights to pursue that claimant for their costs as they can not recover their costs from a defendant if the claim fails due to the fault of the claimant.

Finally, a claimant may be pursued for costs if they decide to withdraw from their claim before it is settled. The reason for this is that their Solicitor will have incurred costs – both from the hours of work that they would have conducted on the claim and also disbursements (medical records requests, medical expert instructions etc) – and they will no longer be able to recover them from the defendants.

Claimants who are worried about pursuing their claim should always speak with us or their Solicitors before they decide to withdraw from the process. We are humans and we care. We understand that people may have anxiety about taking legal action and we’re here to help make sure that you have the confidence to pursue the matter fully.

Cancelling a No Win No Fee agreement

Whilst it is rare for a claimant to cancel their claim, all claimants have the right to terminate their No Win No Fee agreement with a Solicitor that has been instructed. All claimants will be made aware of this at the signing of their agreement with their chosen Solicitor. Any claim cancelled within the first 14 days is within a cooling off period and no fees would be payable to the Solicitor. However, claimants are reminded that they should be aware that they may be required to pay fees to their Solicitor should they choose to cancel their instruction to their Solicitor after the 14 day period, as the Solicitor will be unable to recover the costs for the work that they have undertaken.

Who pays Direct2Compensation?

The claimant will never pay a penny to Direct2Compensation, win or lose. We are not funded by the claimant. The specialist personal injury Solicitor firms who form our specialist partner panel pay us. Their payments are not based on a volume of claims or on success or failure meaning that we have no motivation for attempting to pursue low quality claims or to pressurise claimants in to taking action. Our specialist Solicitors have a proven track record of success and our clients give excellent feedback as to the quality of service provided by them.

15 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

Leave a question

Please note we can only deal with claims within the UK legal system. Your question will appear once approved and we'll answer it as soon as we can. Your email address will not be published, your name will, so feel free just to use a first name.

Questions & Answers


  1. Alex

    I would like your advice please regarding an accident I had on August 9th, 2019.

    I had dined with my fiancé at a Miller & Carter restaurant and upon leaving, fairly late in the evening, I slipped and fell down half a flight of stairs. The stairs were incredibly slippery to which there was no visible signage stating or warning of this. We reported the incident to a member of staff.

    My fiancé contacted the restaurant the following day, Saturday 10th August, about the incident as I was in a lot of pain and had been awake most of the night as I was unable to sleep. It transpired upon speaking to the manager the member of staff had not reported the incident in their accident book. I am unsure if they have since recorded the same.

    I sustained injury to both my right knee and right ankle for which I attended my G.P. My G.P referred me for X-ray’s and MRI scans. The MRI shows a sprain to my right knee, I am not 100% sure about the grade of sprain. The consultant advised I need to have physiotherapy for my knee and that my ankle has severe swelling. I have been walking with a limp since the injuries were sustained.

    Since the incident I suffer pain everyday/night and my day to day life has been severely affected. At work I have had to be placed on light duties and I am unable to participate in my regular weekly hobbies, such as football and golf. I was unable to attend the gym for a period of time and although I have recently returned I am only able to do light weights on my upper body, with no cardio or leg work. Not being able to do this, nor play football etc has resulted in my putting on weight. This, combined with not being able to go about my normal activities, has left me feeling extremely down and frustrated.

    I am also annoyed as to how Miller & Carter appears to have just dismissed the incident. My fiancé has telephoned Miller & Carter a few times and they informed her they would get back to her but to date have not done so. They sent me a bunch of flowers as a way of apology at the time and since such time we have had no further communication from them.

    I have photographs of the injuries I sustained and can forward these if requested.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Given the nature of your accident and the lack of hazard warning signs on the stairs in question, you do have a right to make a claim for compensation against the restaurant and their insurers. Whether or not your claim would succeed will depend on what evidence there is to support your claim and what defence the defendant can mount.

      Ideally, our Solicitors will need you to identify what you slipped on. You state that the stairs were slippery. Do you know why? Were they wet or was there a substance upon them?

      Reply
  2. julie

    Hi I was working in a care home on a unit of 17 people with either mobility issues or dementia on my own at night. It was so busy with bells going off all night and I could not cope with all the work on my own. I had to walk at a hurried pace during the night to get to all bell calls as i was worried a resident may have had a fall or ill. I do not know how but i ended up with what i thought was a sprained ankle. i went home, went back to work, was in agony, turns out i had a stress fracture and 3 tendons damaged. I have been off work 11 weeks and still in agony, i will not be able to go back to this job due to the damage of my foot. I will be off work for another 8 weeks until i go back to hospital, do you think i may be able to make a claim against the care home for my injury as i was working on my own and clearly needed another carer with me?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      The likely problem you will face with such a claim is one of proving a causal link (causation) between the fact that you were busy at work and the injury sustained and that the injury would have been avoided if another staff member had been on duty.

      That said, it would be prudent to present the scenario you have described to our specialist Solicitors in order that they could consider whether or not there is any merit in pursuing your employers for compensation. If you would like to seek their advice on this matter, please get in touch and we’ll obtain advice for you.

      Reply
  3. Glen

    Hi I have worked for a company for 11 years with no issues at all, recently the company has installed cctv and on a number of occasions they watched from an other country to say what are staff dong standing about doing nothing at this point I used to go too the individual and ask them what they were doing I never felt comfortable with the situation but I am a supervisor so I saw it be part of my job, on Monday this week I was at work and had just checked my emails to find that one of my machine operators was not going to attend work due to sickness, so I arranged for 2 of my main operators to meet me with a 3 one that was working on a machine to try and arrange cover so we could run the plant all I was doing was my job as a supervisor one of my team said yes that he would cover the operator that had phoned in sick, at that point it felt good that I had sorted the problem out, as I was walking back to the office a manager came too me and said that someone had been watching me on camera in an other country and asked he too find out what I was doing he said it looks like that I was holding a meeting, I was absolutely devastated and stressed that trying too do my role was being questioned by video, i left work felling worthless I did speak to my manager about what happened and I told him I was contemplating handing in my notice when I got home I told my wife and she said that I should take a little time off I contacted HR and my manager to say I was going to sign my self off sick for a week, I am now looking at going too the doctors too get more time off as I feel too stressed to return any advice would be welcome

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Have you noted your concerns in writing and sent them to your employer? It is important that you don’t rely on verbal conversations regarding any issues of stress or anxiety you are having.

      Reply
  4. Sarah

    I fell in a supermarket at the end of January this year and I damaged my shoulder and I still under the physio.

    I instructed a local firm to deal with the claim and the supermarket sent back a signed job sheet that the floor was cleaned 10 minutes before I fell, so now my solicitor isn’t prepared to go further with my claim. My thoughts are that anyone can sign a job sheet, but that doesn’t mean that they actioned it.

    I am self employed and was off work 6 weeks, which has hit me financially as I am also a carer. My work has been affected hugely.

    Please advise as I feel that my solicitor acted too slowly to get the cctv footage. The Solicitor is simply going on the supermarkets word that the accident was not covered by cctv, which I find hard to believe since I fell at the tills – where you’d think cameras would be aimed.

    A staff member on the check outs saw the accident, but no staff came over to help me so no accident book was filled out until I emailed the head office a couple days later.

    I feel extremely deflated because this was a genuine fall and my medical records and scans show that I damaged my shoulder. Is there anything further I can do?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Whilst you are right in asserting that there is a possibility that a cleaning report/record could be falsified, you have no evidence to support an allegation that this has happened in your case.

      Your Solicitor would be acting on a No Win No Fee basis and will only receive payment for the work that they undertake on your claim for compensation if they are able to succeed for you. Therefore, they would not close your claim if they felt that the defence raised by the defendant insurer was not likely to be upheld by a court – should the claim be pursued further.

      In your case, your Solicitor has sadly taken the correct action in that they are not in possession of any evidence to support your claim further. The courts have previously found that as long as a store can demonstrate that they have a regular cleaning and inspection regime, with the store areas being checked for hazards regularly, they will not be liable for an accident. Therefore in your case, it would seem that the supermarket are strong in their defence.

      Reply
  5. Rachel

    Can u send me a questionnaire to see if I am eligible for a claim, please?

    Reply
  6. Anna

    Hi, I’ve broke my foot a week ago at work as my manager tried to lift a keg and it landed on my foot. I’ve given my sick note yesterday but I have been asked by my manager if I left the house during the time I’ve been off. Can I get in trouble if I did?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Whether or not you leave the house whilst you are signed off work by a GP is irrelevant to your employer. In your case, your GP has taken the view that on the basis of injury recovery, you should not be at work for a week. That does not mean that you must spend a week confined within your own home. You are simply supposed to be resting – that does not mean that you cannot go to the shops, watch a movie or even go for a meal or drink.

      You would appear to have a valid claim for workplace injury compensation after the damage done to your foot when your manager dropped the keg on to you. You may wish to pursue a claim if you do not get paid for the period of time that you are unable to work as one of the benefits of claiming compensation after suffering an injury is that alongside a financial settlement for your injury, you can also recover any lost income and incurred expenses too. To start your claim, please call us on 01225430285 or use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website.

      Reply
  7. Tara Smyth

    I have a solicitor working for me on a no win no fee basis against my previous employer.
    the company have accepted liability but don’t want the case to go to a tribunal. the original injury to feeling was £16,500. but because they came back with a bit of defence, we had to drop the injury to feeling. the first offer was £3000 but I said no and went back with £12,000, but the solicitor said no go for £9000 and if they offer £5000 we should accept it. I said I wasn’t prepared to drop that low and he said if it continues like this then I will not be able to carry on with this case on the no win no fee basis. this case hasn’t been going on for long, and we have an acas conciliator involved. Should he be saying this to me?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It is hard to advise as to whether or not your Solicitor is advising you correctly but we would always assume that the Solicitor is acting correctly and advising you in your best interests. However, you cite a hefty drop in damages and are well within your rights to be unhappy with the lowering of possible damages. However, your Solicitor maybe right and as per the terms of the Conditional Fee Agreement that you would have signed with them, they are able to terminate a No Win No Fee agreement if you ignore their advice.

      I would suggest that you should ask for a different Solicitor within the same firm to review your file – perhaps via the Solicitors complaints policy (which would be published on their website) in order for a fresh view on things.

      Reply
  8. Lisa Davies

    Can you tell me your fees?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Lisa

      Hi, No Win No Fee compensation with Direct2Compensation is just what it says – No Win – No Fee! Therefore, to answer your question about fees, there are a couple of things to say.

      Firstly, and most importantly, we can state categorically that should any claim made with us fail (i.e, the claim is closed and the 3rd party successfully defends any claim), the claimant WILL PAY NOTHING AT ALL. This is 100% guaranteed – no costs faced by the claimant regardless of the amount of fees incurred. Of course, it goes without saying that if a claimant were found to have been acting fraudulently, that they would be liable for fees – and face criminal proceedings.

      Secondly, No Win No Fee does mean that there is a fee to be paid if you succeed with a claim. At Direct2Compensation we are authorised to practice in this regulated industry. Indeed, we are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, our authorisation number is 830395. Details can be found on the Financial Conduct Authority financial services register. We comply fully with the requirements of the regulatory framework in which we operate and adhere to the requirements of the LASPO Act 2012. This act obliges ALL successful claimants to contribute to the costs of their claim. As such, any successful claimant will have to contribute UP TO 25% of any settlement award made to them towards the costs of the claim. Any such deduction is taken BEFORE the settlement is made to the claimant so the claimant NEVER has to provide money in order to obtain their settlement.

      To explain the deduction/cost further, I can say as follows:

      The 25% deduction is taken from the full settlement value and includes all past losses (including any out of pocket expenses incurred, general damages for the actual injury/pain/suffering, loss of earnings and care costs etc). When calculating the deduction, our solicitors act as fairly as possible and normally exclude treatment/rehab costs and leave those 100% intact. However, each case is dealt with individually.

      The 25% deduction DOES NOT include any future losses – for example, settlement values awarded for future loss of earnings, disability on the labour market, future costs for care, future treatment or rehabilitation costs etc. To confirm, the 25% deduction can only apply to past losses.

      Rather confusingly, the ‘success’ fee is not always a full 25% as there is a double cap by way of a safeguard. The deduction is capped at 100% of the value of the actual costs a solicitor incurs in running the successful claim, or 25% of the compensation – whichever is the lower of the two figures. As an example, if the claim settled for damages of £20,000 and a Solicitor had undertaken work to the value of £3000, then the most that they could deduct from the compensation would be £3000, whilst a full 25% deduction would be £5000. In this case, the £3000 would be the lower of the two figures.

      Alternatively, if a claim settled for damages of £20,000 and a Solicitor had done work to the value of £15,000, the the most that they could deduct would be 25% – £5000.

      I hope that this helps. Please feel free to call us on 01225430285 to discuss your case and we’ll be happy to help you. It is also worth noting that Solicitors will review the merits of each case individually and may be willing to negotiate on the % of the deduction on more straightforward or higher value cases.

      Reply
Direct2Compensation Personal Injury Claims

Speak with a claims expert

We're happy to answer any questions you might have, or let you know if you are eligible to claim. Just fill out the form below. You can also call us on 01225 430285.