New Post Advanced Search

No Win No Fee issue

14 replies 262 views
I just want to get my head around what could happen if my thinking on this issue is correct so wonder if anyone can clarify something.
 
I'm very worried about a freind who is going through a claim at the moment with a no win, no fee company. The situation is that she fell at work and broke her arm. She was contacted by one of these companys and started a claim. Her employer has admitted liability which should make things straight forward and she thinks she is going to be in for a windfall.

But-

She showed me her paperwork from the solicitors detailing the terms/charges etc.  They charge 350 per hour and estimste 60-80 hours work for her case. They also charge for each phone call, letter recieved or sent at a cost of 1/5 of an hour (£50) a fee to transfer her winning claim money to her, expenses for medical report and a charge for insurance cover, etc, etc.
They say they expect court costs and disbursments to be in the region of £3000.  I noted they also own the company that organises the medical reports.

There was page after page of 'conditions' etc which I did not go through as I only saw it for a few minutes. She has told me that they have sent her more paperwork recently which says they have done approx 10 hours work at £350 per hour plus 'associated costs'.

I have Googled the solicitor she is using and the reviews are awful. 

This is what is worrying me-

As I understand it the court costs are no longer claimed from the other side if you win and are taken from your money. This is a broken arm which has healed and apart from an odd ache has no further problems at the moment so it is not going to be a massive financial claim.  
I know there is a 25% +Vat  cap on the percentage the solicitors can take but Im concerned about how much of the above charges are on top of that. 

Unless there is a substantial pay out which I would think unlikely then is it possible that the costscould exceed what she gets.?
«1

Replies

  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
    11K posts
    10,000 Posts Sixth Anniversary Name Dropper PPI Party Pooper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    If the employer has admitted liability the only remaining question is that of the amount of compensation.  To be honest, for a broken arm assuming it mends quickly, I wouldn't expect the payout to be massive and your friend is likely to see very little of it, if any.  You are right to be concerned that your friend may actually end up out of pocket unless there is something in the agreement to state that the no-win, no-fee charges will not exceed the payout.
  • swingaloo2swingaloo2 Forumite
    288 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    Thanks for the reply.  Thats pretty much what I thought. I cant ask to look at the paperwork again as it would feel intrusive. I only saw it before because she offered it to me. 

    She is very easily led and quick to believe that anything advertised must be a bargain. She is already making plans for 'When she gets her money' and Im so worried that she is not only going to be dissapointed but could also end up with a bill. 

    Reading the reviews there are those who have waited 5 or 6 years for a payout and in one of them the payout was 15,000 and the claimant got 1,300. 

    If I voice my thoughts she will get defensive so I will keep quiet and hope for the best. I cant try to tell her to pull out of the contract as she will owe money she does not have for the work they have done up to now if she does that.

    Guess I have a couple of years of worrying in front of me whils she makes her plans for a cruise!
  • edited 3 May at 11:48AM
    user1977user1977 Forumite
    222 posts
    100 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    edited 3 May at 11:48AM
    I think people do tend to overlook in a case where there's little doubt about liability (don't know whether there might have been in this case) that there's no point using a "no win no fee" outfit and paying a conditional fee - of course you'll win, it's just a question of negotiating the amount you're due.
  • swingaloo2swingaloo2 Forumite
    288 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    Thats very true. She had contacted a solicitor herself oringinally who said they would not take on the case.  Then she saw these guys advertised and she rang them and of course they said yes. At the time she did not know the emplyer would admit liability as they had disputed with her that it was thier fault at first so she was surprised when they did.

    She has a medical appointment soon and she is again full of plans to say she 'cant do this and that anymore' which just rings more alarm bells to me.
  • edited 3 May at 12:09PM
    couriervanmancouriervanman Forumite
    1.6K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭
    edited 3 May at 12:09PM
    No win cases always cost way more than a simple settlement 

    A simple car bump which would have cost no more than £1000 in repairs and hire van ended up costing almost £7000 when other driver disputed being liable until I found a witness

    A slip in a Spanish hotel bath (which was like skating on ice) resulting in damaged crown and split lip should have been settled for £3000 to me ended up costing £12000 because everybody had snout in the trough

    OP your friend will end up with the same amount either way but the final bill will £000s more due to the no win no fee firm involved
  • SandtreeSandtree Forumite
    4K posts
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    As I understand it the court costs are no longer claimed from the other side if you win and are taken from your money.
    This isn't fully true.

    A broken arm is going to be over £1,000 and so will be in the Fast Track and so some limited costs can be claimed from the defendant if you win - the amount is fixed based on the value of the award.
  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
    11K posts
    10,000 Posts Sixth Anniversary Name Dropper PPI Party Pooper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thats very true. She had contacted a solicitor herself oringinally who said they would not take on the case.  Then she saw these guys advertised and she rang them and of course they said yes. At the time she did not know the emplyer would admit liability as they had disputed with her that it was thier fault at first so she was surprised when they did.

    She has a medical appointment soon and she is again full of plans to say she 'cant do this and that anymore' which just rings more alarm bells to me.
    Who actually initiated the contact?  In the first post you infer that she was cold called but here say she called them.
    Regarding the comment about her going to say "can't do this, can't do that" it sounds very much as if she is being coached by the claims company and they are actually fabricating a fraudulent claim.  They won't be the one to potentially find themselves in court over that, your friend is.  If you do nothing else I would strongly suggest that you advise her simply to be truthful at the medical.

  • swingaloo2swingaloo2 Forumite
    288 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    In terms of who contacted who first I cant be entirely sure as she tends to tell us contradicting things quite often.
    She kept speaking about starting a claim but I thought it was just her general chat. She often says she odd things and tells me she is going to do things which never happen (from get a dog to have her hair cut short to to foster a child) so a lot of it goes over my head. She told me she had rung someone she had seen advertised and that they declined to take the case, then the same again with another solicitior.  She also said that she had filled in the online forms and a couple of those companies had called her so I'm not sure of the exact circumstances.
    About the claim being exagerated, she is saying she cant do her ironing or clean her windows and cant go ten pin bowling any more (To my knowledge she has been twice in the time I've known her which is aout 20 years) but she did manage to build a rockery in her garden a week or so ago. Iv'e told her to be very careful and make sure she tells the truth as she will say something and a couple of weeks later say something completely different. I once bought her a purse for a birthday and a few weeks later she told me she had been mugged and her purse taken then,  a few months later she had forgotten the 'mugging' and told me she had left the purse on a bus so I take a lot with a pinch of salt.
    She says she has no need to worry about speaking in court as the employer has admitted liability. which in itself is a surprise to me because when she first told me what happened I thought it was probably more carelessness on her part than negligence on the employers. She also said to me 'They cant say I didnt fall over it as there are no cameras' so to say I'm skeptical would be correct. 
    However I'm still worried about her ending up with a bill she cant pay.

  • HasbeenHasbeen Forumite
    4.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    In terms of who contacted who first I cant be entirely sure as she tends to tell us contradicting things quite often.
    She kept speaking about starting a claim but I thought it was just her general chat. She often says she odd things and tells me she is going to do things which never happen (from get a dog to have her hair cut short to to foster a child) so a lot of it goes over my head. She told me she had rung someone she had seen advertised and that they declined to take the case, then the same again with another solicitior.  She also said that she had filled in the online forms and a couple of those companies had called her so I'm not sure of the exact circumstances.
    About the claim being exagerated, she is saying she cant do her ironing or clean her windows and cant go ten pin bowling any more (To my knowledge she has been twice in the time I've known her which is aout 20 years) but she did manage to build a rockery in her garden a week or so ago. Iv'e told her to be very careful and make sure she tells the truth as she will say something and a couple of weeks later say something completely different. I once bought her a purse for a birthday and a few weeks later she told me she had been mugged and her purse taken then,  a few months later she had forgotten the 'mugging' and told me she had left the purse on a bus so I take a lot with a pinch of salt.
    She says she has no need to worry about speaking in court as the employer has admitted liability. which in itself is a surprise to me because when she first told me what happened I thought it was probably more carelessness on her part than negligence on the employers. She also said to me 'They cant say I didnt fall over it as there are no cameras' so to say I'm skeptical would be correct. 
    However I'm still worried about her ending up with a bill she cant pay.

    Fortunately that may well be the case.

    I
    The world is not ruined by the wickedness of the wicked, but by the weakness of the good. Napoleon
  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
    11K posts
    10,000 Posts Sixth Anniversary Name Dropper PPI Party Pooper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    swingaloo, it seems that you are a good friend to her despite everything.  Just be careful not to get sucked into the apparant fantasy world she sometimes inhabits.  She may try calling you as a witness.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support