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Funding Your Case

From April 2013, the way personal injury cases are funded and paid for is changing as a result of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act. The act radically changed the amount of legal costs that solicitors are able to recover from the losing party and significantly altered the ‘no win no fee’ structure that solicitors have used for many years. This is to ensure that victims of negligence receive their rightful compensation.

Under the new rules, Mercury Legal solicitors will continue to fight for the rights of those injured or hurt through no fault of their own without any financial risk to yourself. The new rules can be confusing and difficult to understand but rest assured that when you contact us you will not be asked to pay any money whatsoever up front and even if your claim is unsuccessful through no fault of your own, you will never be asked to pay anything to anyone.

Many in the legal world believe that the act will deny innocent accident and injury victims access to justice as solicitors firms will struggle to survive financially and indeed we have already seen some firms either closing down altogether or else no longer running personal injury cases.

Rest assured that Mercury Legal solicitors are here to stay to ensure that you get the very best help and advice you when you need it most.

What do the new rules mean for you?

Firstly there is some good news. Under the act all personal injury awards for cases taken on after 1st April 2013 will be increased by 10%.

The main difference you will notice will be in relation to the funding options we offer you when we accept your case and how we deal with our costs when your claim is settled successfully:-

Private client funding – this has always been available to our clients and although we do make people aware of it, it is not a funding option we recommend. Under private client funding you pay us our costs as the case goes along and you look to recover the cost when your case settles.

Damage based agreements (DBA’s) – although damage based agreements have been around for many years the new act has now allowed them to be used for personal injury cases. Very simply, and there are a number of rules related to the agreements so this is not intended to be a guide to the law, if you enter a DBA then when you win your case you pay your solicitor up to 25% of your award depending on what was agreed at the outset. In the majority of cases we believe that most of our clients will not benefit from DBA’s and although we will explain them fully to you, it is unlikely that we will fund your case this way as it will not be in your best interests.

Conditional fee agreements (CFA’s) – conditional fee agreements are the funding option that most people are familiar with and are generally known as ‘no win no fee’ agreements. Under the new acts we can and do still offer this to our clients although the rules have now changed:-

You still pay nothing at all up front and we will meet all of the costs on your case – solicitor’s costs, medical report costs, Court fees, etc.

If your case is unsuccessful through no fault of your own you will not have to pay anything to anyone so you are at no financial risk.

At the outset of your case we will conduct a risk assessment and weigh up how likely it is your case will be successful, how much it is likely to cost us to win (both in terms of time and money) and the complexity of your case. Based upon this risk assessment we will ask you to pay a proportion of your award towards our costs at the end of your case. This is capped at a maximum of 25% of the costs we have incurred and is only payable if you win. Bear in mind that under the new rules your compensation award will have been increased by 10% to help fund this and ensure that you keep the majority of the money you deserve.

Do not let the new legal funding rules put you off obtaining the compensation you are rightfully and legally entitled to. It still costs you nothing to enquire with Mercury Legal solicitors to see if you may be able to make a claim and you will still pay nothing if you lose through no fault of your own.

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