Legal costs

We aim to give you as much information as we can about the costs that are likely to be incurred in pursuing your claim. We will provide that information at the outset, and we will provide you with updates on a 6 monthly basis. If proceedings need to be issued, the Court will take a keen interest in the costs incurred up to that point and the costs it is predicted will be incurred in order to progress the case to a trial. The Court will actually set a budget based on those projections.

Provided your claim has been presented honestly, you will not be asked to pay your opponent’s costs in the event the claim is unsuccessful. However, we can ask your opponent to pay towards your legal costs and disbursements where your claim is successful. 

The position becomes more complicated where the Defendant has made an offer to settle your claim and the award you eventually receive is less than that offer. In those circumstances the Defendant may seek to recover costs incurred since making the offer to you. We will of course discuss this with you in detail if it arises as an issue in your case.

In pursuing your claim, we will incur costs for the work that we do. Those costs are calculated with reference to an hourly rate and based on the time spent pursuing your claim. The barristers we use on your case will charge on a similar basis but will also work on a Conditional Fee Agreement basis so that there is no fee to pay to them if the claim is unsuccessful.

The experts that will be involved in your claim will charge fees that need to be paid whether the case is won or lost. To protect against having to pay those fees personally if your claim is unsuccessful, or the Defendant is not ordered to pay them, you will be advised to take out a legal expenses insurance policy to indemnify you in those circumstances. These are called After the Event policies and the premium becomes payable upon the conclusion of a successful claim and is deducted from the damages you have recovered. If the claim is unsuccessful, the premium is essentially written off. In clinical negligence claims, part of the premium relating to liability reports is recoverable from the defendant.

For taking the risk that cases we take on may be unsuccessful, we charge a success fee in successful cases. This can never be more than 25% of the value of that part of your compensation that is paid for past losses and pain suffering.

At the conclusion of a successful claim we look to recover as much as possible to from your opponent (excluding the legal expenses premium and success fee which are not recoverable of costs). That post settlement process can often take some time and culminates in a “detailed assessment hearing” if settlement cannot be reached. If you were able to recover, say, 75% to 80% of all the costs and disbursements incurred in pursuing your claim, from your opponent, you would be responsible for making up the shortfall.

Our aim is to ensure that whatever the shortfall and these additional liabilities add up to, they will not eat into your compensation to any significant extent. Wherever possible we try to ensure that any contribution towards your costs would never exceed 10% of your lump sum compensation award. In most cases our expectation would be that the contribution you would have to make would be significantly less than 10% of what we would expect to be a substantial award. It is important to remember, in spinal injury and other catastrophic injury cases compensation is usually made up of significant future losses and we typically recover awards in high six, seven or even eight figure sums. Further information on this is provided to you in the initial engagement letters and during your claim.

If you would like to find out more about budgets and legal costs please do not hesitate to contact us.

For more information you may like to read our Offers and Settlements factsheet.


  • Linda Jones
      • Linda Jones
      • Director of Legal Services - Private Client
      • 01788 557588
      • 07974 087374
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  • Jon Rees
      • Jon Rees
      • Partner & Head of Practice Area - Life Changing Injury
      • 01788 557617
      • 07772 081566
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  • Allison Fitchett
      • 01788 557555
      • 07890 626393
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  • Sian Buxton
      • 01788 557578
      • 07973 949225
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  • Danielle Whitfield-Freer
      • 01788 557615
      • 07551 999226
      • View profile