What is a Success Fee?

A “Success Fee” is the added fee that a solicitor becomes entitled to under a CFA if their client’s case is successful.  Upon success the solicitor is entitled to standard hourly rates plus a Success Fee calculated as a % uplift on these hourly rates, to a maximum of 100%.

A Conditional Fee Agreement (“CFA”) between a solicitor and his/her client requires an ability to define “success” for the purpose of triggering the solicitor’s fees.  Where “success” is difficult to define or could exist in a variety of situations, then a solicitor will not normally enter into a CFA.

If “success” can be defined, then a CFA agreement can be entered into whereby the solicitor is not paid any of his fees UNTIL “success” (as defined by the CFA).

In the event “success” is obtained – normally by way of the failure of a claim (were you are the defendant) or the success of a claim (where you are the claimant) then the solicitors fees will become due, comprising his/her time spent at his/her standard chargeout rates plus an uplift on such rates.

The “uplift” or “success fee” is usually determined by the complexity and risk of the claim or defence, by reference to a %. The maximum % is 100%, which effectively doubles the solicitors fees in the event the claim or defence is successful.

CFAs are best employed by Claimants, as the Claimant seeks a remedy which the solicitor is employed to secure.  However, even then the “success” definition must allow for a number of different judgments or circumstances, including the risk that a judgment will be obtained but it cannot be enforced.

We also have experience of a number of circumstances where a Defendant instructs his solicitor on a CFA.  Provided the outcome or eventual judgment provides for the Defendant’s legal costs to be paid, then this is an option available.

At Francis Wilks & Jones we are extremely familiar with all types of funding models and will seriously consider entering into a CFA, subject to a risk assessment.  We can also discuss alternative forms of litigation funding applicable to your situation.

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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