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The Origin and Practice of Conditional Fee Agreement in the UK by Steve Willis

The Origin and Practice of Conditional Fee Agreement in the UK by
Article Posted: 11/07/2012
Article Views: 215
Articles Written: 117
Word Count: 526
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The Origin and Practice of Conditional Fee Agreement in the UK

The Contingent fee that was renamed to Conditional Fee in the United Kingdom was originally a provision that was instrumented in the United States. The agreement came to be implemented in the 19th Century in the UK under the name of CDA, colloquially referred to as the no-in-no-fee arrangement. The implementation of the law initially fueled controversies during the initial days, centering a landmark case. The cause of the conflict was that the new practice would seemingly encourage frivolous litigations that the law of the United kingdom prohibits. Much after the spread of this scandal, when the count of non-fault accidents rose to an astronomical figure, the law makers came to realize that the provision will actually make the paid legal service affordable to a common man. Thus, under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, the implementation was made official in the year 1995. During the early days, the contract only allowed the losing party to skip payment. The success fee was a much later addition, which was sanctioned by the Access to Justice Act in response to the petition put forth by the community of lawyers. However, certain parameters were determined by which a case can be accepted on the said agreement.

The agreement has been reformed severally since, mostly because of the escalating cost of litigation. The lawyers working on the CDA principle has some remarkable achievements in their credits. One of them is the court case waged against the National Health Service on the ground of medical negligence in which the latter had to shell out some hundred million pounds as penalty. The no win no fee has eased affordability concerning civil cases. However, only law cases that are registered under the Tort law of negligence can be made on this agreement. Though the English legal system is the common law-keeper for all the counties and cities in the UK, the law varies by inches in different parts of the nation. While in England, the success fee is not legally permitted to exceed 100% of the lawyers’ fees, in some counties, it is greater, and even double the amount. Usually, an average 33% to 45% of the compensation is claimed as a winning reward, an amount which is in keeping with the ‘reasonableness’ of the solicitors’ code of conduct.

The no-win-no-pay cases are considered high-risk cases because of the clauses of the contract. Thus, the professionals gauze the merits of the cases thoroughly before they are accepted for representation. The rising popularity of the contract soon earned the attention of the rest of the world and was adopted by Australia, Canada, France, Greece and other countries during the subsequent years. The policy creates a loop in the cash benefits of the profession of soliciting, which urges the lawyers to work harder on the cases to secure their payment. Moreover, it makes the legal and paralegal profession performance-driven that hike up the competition. Cherry picking is actively practiced by the no win no fee solicitors working on this policy to cover the risks involved. However, the contract plan makes law cases fully transparent and less costly for the victimized claimants.

Related Articles - no win no fee, no win no fee solicitors,

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