Costs Options in Legal Disputes

Funding litigation can be expensive and dealing with legal costs is often a major factor in considering whether to proceed with a dispute.

Please see below a summary of the various funding options that might be available to you and which should be explored at the outset of any claim: –

Private funding

Our fees are billed at standard hourly rates on a time spent basis, plus disbursements and VAT.

Deferred Payment Plan

In some types of litigation, we may be able to reach an agreement whereby we defer payment until a time when monies are received or the matter is concluded. This type of funding option can be particularly useful for contentious trust and probate cases where money is tied up in the deceased’s estate.

Loans

It may also be possible to obtain a loan from a third party to fund the litigation.

Fixed Fees and Caps

Sometimes we are able to offer fixed fees or a cap on the level of fees that might be incurred.

Litigation funding

Litigation funding is offered by a number of specific funders to fund all of the costs of a usually substantial claim, including adverse costs, in return for a share of the proceeds should the claim be successful.

Conditional Fee Agreements (“CFA”)

A CFA is an agreement whereby we will charge you a reduced fee (or occasionally no fee) if your case is not successful, and normal fees plus a “success fee” if your case is successful. This funding option is more commonly known as a “no win, no fee” agreement. A success fee cannot exceed 100% of our base costs.

If your case is not successful then you will still have to pay your opponent’s costs and expenses but you may be able to obtain insurance to protect against this risk (see below).

Damages Based Agreements (“DBA”)

A DBA is an agreement whereby we agree to accept a percentage of the damages received (either by settling the claim or after trial) in place of our usual fees. This is capped at 35% of damages in employment cases and 50% of the damages in all other cases. The figures include expenses, including any fee payable to a barrister and VAT.

Legal Expenses Insurance

Before the Event (“BTE”) is an insurance policy that provides cover for a possible future legal problem. Such cover may form part of an existing household contents, business, motor vehicle or travel insurance policy. We are happy to look at insurance policies for you.

After the Event (“ATE”) is an insurance policy taken out after a dispute has arisen to protect against the risk of having to pay your opponent’s legal costs and expenses if you lose a case. The amount of premium will depend on the insurer’s estimate of the legal costs that will be required to pursue or defend the claim and our and the insurer’s assessment of the risks and the likelihood of success. The premium is not a recoverable cost of the litigation.

We are happy to discuss funding with you. Our Dispute Resolution team can be contacted on 01457 761 320 or email Giselle Williams at Giselle@odonnellsolicitors.co.uk or Suzzanne Gardener at suzzanne@odonnellsolicitors.co.uk.