What is a Contingency Fee?

A Contingency fee is a US term to refer to the amount of fees a lawyer is paid, which is usually contingent on the outcome of a specified event (most commonly judgment in Court).  In the UK the same process is referred to as a Damages Based Agreement, which works in an identical fashion.

A Contingency Fee is a fee contingent upon a defined outcome or event and in the UK is generally referred to as a Damages Based Agreement.

In terms of legal fees, a contingency fee is usually contingent upon a recovery of a claim (for litigation proceedings) or recovery of an asset or outcome (for pre-action or non-contentious proceedings).

The Contingency Fee is a fee based on risk and reward, with the client facing the risk of usually higher legal costs but against the reward of an absence of a need to fund their lawyers and no legal costs if they are unsuccessful.

For the solicitor, the risk is that the claim or instruction does not lead to a successful recovery but the reward is (in a majority of circumstances) a more beneficial outcome in terms of the legal fees paid.

The Contingency Fee or Damages Based Agreement is designed to enable access to justice for those with a strong legal position but little or no ability to fund the legal costs.

At Francis Wilks & Jones we are extremely familiar with Damages Based Agreements and will be able to explain the procedure and further requirements to enter into any such funding agreement, subject to assessment of the claim or proposal, and an appropriate risk assessment.

Please call any member of our commercial litigation team for your consultation now on 020 7841 0390.  Alternatively e mail us with your enquiry and we will call you back at a time convenient to you.

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