When you are facing litigation, it can be very stressful to think about legal fees and how to raise the money needed to pay them. Many people end up not making claims that they should because they cannot raise the lawyer’s fees. Contingent fee arrangements come to the rescue in such instances.
A contingent fee is an arrangement where a lawyer agrees to take up your case without you paying anything from your pocket. You will pay the lawyer’s fees if you win the case and the court awards you a monetary settlement. The payment will be a percentage agreed upon by both of you during the contractual stage.
It is imperative that you hire a competent lawyer from a firm with a high success rate like Foyle Legal or one that is close to you so that you can have high chances of success. It is important to note, though, that your case will be accepted on its merit, that is, depending on the likelihood of success.
In which cases are contingent fee agreements valid?
Not every case is allowed to have no win, no fee arrangements.
- This arrangement is mostly valid in civil litigations. They are mostly used in personal injury cases.
- They are allowed when the plaintiff cannot afford to pay an attorney for the recovery claim and might have to give it up altogether since they cannot raise the fee.
- They are not allowed in criminal cases. This is because a financial settlement is not expected in such a case.
- They are not encouraged in divorce cases because there are public policy issues to take into consideration.
What happens if a lawyer who was retained on a No Win, No Fee basis dies?
Should this happen, their estate is not owed any fee unless they had met all the terms of the contract before death. The estate may also not be able to claim any fees if the jury had not returned a monetary award in the client’s favor prior to the lawyer’s death. The deceased lawyer’s representatives may, however, collect fees owed to them for reasonable services rendered.
If the Client Dies…
The client’s lawyer might be entitled to their share of the settlement if they had performed their duties fully as per the contract prior to the client’s death. If the case had been presented to a jury before the death occurred and the jury had ruled in favour of the client and awarded a monetary settlement, then the lawyer can get their agreed-upon share from the settlement.
However, if the case was dismissed or settled by those representing the deceased client, then the lawyer is not be owed any fees, unless there is a clause in the contract that decrees otherwise.
The death of a client does not mean that the lawyer who was representing them will not get paid for the legal services rendered.
It is therefore important to note that if you have a case, especially a recovery case, but don’t have the finances to fund the legal process, you can approach a law firm like Foyle Legal for consultation to see whether they can represent you on a contingent fee arrangement.