Legal Guides

No Win No Fee Explained

The concept of 'no win no fee' also known as no foal no fee is common practice amongst solicitors in Ireland. This fee arrangement means that a solicitor will not charge for their service if a client’s case is unsuccessful — if you do not win your case, you do not have to pay your legal fees. On the other hand, if your case is successful either by way of settlement outside of court or in front of a judge in court, then legal fees will apply.

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What is the purpose of a no win no fee agreement*?

The purpose of a no win no fee agreement is to give you the legal power to pursue a claim regardless of your financial state or legal experience, should you need to make a claim or defend yourself against claims made against you. ‘No win no fee’ or ‘No foal no fee’ are well-known terms when it comes to litigation services.

If you have been injured in an accident on the road, at work or in a public place as a result of another person, you may wish to pursue a personal injury claim against the person responsible. 

Common Worries

Common worries and often the first questions we are asked are:

How much will this cost?

Solicitor’s fees will vary depending on the complexity of the case and a solicitor can only give you an estimate once they have examined your case and spoken with you.

Do you operate on a ‘no win no fee basis’?

Solicitors can enter into no win no fee agreements with clients, however, they are strictly prohibited from advertising no win no fee services.

Regulations behind No Win No Fee Solicitors*

The Law Society of Ireland is the body that regulates all practising solicitors in Ireland. The regulations explicitly state how a solicitor can advertise their services.

Solicitors in Ireland, while they may offer no win no fee services, cannot advertise them and in your research, if you come by a website that is advertising and offering no win no fee legal services the likelihood is that you will be either dealing with:

  1. A site known as ‘claims harvesting site’ – which may not be operating from Ireland and is completely unregulated. These sites can misinform and misdirect. These sites offer to put you in touch with a solicitor. The solicitor they connect you with, by accepting the referral from the claims harvesting site, is seen to be in breach of the Solicitors Acts that govern their profession or;
  2. A solicitor who is deliberately ignoring their professional obligation and ignoring the laws regulating their profession.

Is it legal to engage with a No Win No Fee Solicitor?

It is perfectly legal to enter into a no win no fee arrangement with a solicitor and you will find that most solicitors in Ireland will operate in this way.

Conditions of a No Win No Fee Agreement

Conditions of a no win no fee agreement will vary from solicitor to solicitor, therefore it is important that you speak with your solicitor about all aspects of your case before moving forward.

In some cases, a no win no fee agreement may stipulate that even if your case is unsuccessful you may still have an outlay to pay (court stamp duty, medical costs, for example). Further to this is that you may also be liable to pay the other sides legal fees if your case is unsuccessful.

Choosing the right personal injury solicitor for you

Overall, you want to know that the solicitor you have chosen to represent you in your personal injury claim is one who is experienced, knowledgeable and one who follows the Law Society guidelines for practising solicitors.

It is advisable to take the following into account when choosing a personal injury solicitor:

  • Does the solicitor follow the Law Society of Ireland’s Regulations? If so, then you shouldn’t have any worry about their handling of your case. If not and you can see they are in breach of any of the above regulations, then you might like to rethink your options.
  • Check their website – a website can be a good indication of how established, professional and in some cases how successful the firm is.
  • Don’t stop there – check the company’s testimonials pages to read more about what it is like to work with them.
  • Go one step further and check out if the company has any case studies on their website, this way you can get an idea of their experience and the outcome of past cases.
  • Finally, call the firm and ask to speak to the person who would be handling your case and arrange a meeting– there is no better way to assess if you can work with a person then from speaking or meeting with them in person.