Legal Information Centre


11 May 2009 by Mary Heaney

Suggested changes announced to the way litigation solicitor costs

A preliminary report on the costs of using a litigation solicitor has been published outlining possible changes to the law.
A preliminary report on the costs of using a litigation solicitor has been published outlining possible changes to the law.



No win no fee could become a more common way to pay for a litigation solicitor






Among other proposed changes to the way a litigation solicitor works, Lord Justice Jackson has recommended that conditional fee arrangements (CFAs; also known as 'no win no fee') or some similar system must be available in replacement of the diminishing availability of legal aid.



When using a conditional fee arrangement to pay for their litigation solicitor, an individual does not have to pay for their litigation solicitor if they lose while if they win the other side will usually pay. If the case is lost, however, the individual may have to pay for the other party's litigation solicitor; although, there is insurance available to cover such an eventuality.



Lord Jackson said it would be 'wrong in principle' to shift the costs of a litigation solicitor dramatically from the taxpayer to the client. He also suggested that the availability of a 'contingent legal aid fund' to pay for a litigation solicitor has 'some attraction'.



Alternatives to court available to your litigation solicitor






In his report, Lord Jackson also warned that there was not enough awareness of the advantages of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) among those using a litigation solicitor. Besides the more traditional path of litigation - i.e. going to court - an individual using a litigation solicitor also has methods such as arbitration and mediation for seeking redress.



Besides cutting down costs, according to the report's mandate, such alternative action that is often available to a litigation solicitor can have the benefit of being faster and less public than going through the courts.



When consulting a litigation solicitor it is worth enquiring about the benefits of using ADR in your particular case.



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