Compensation for Sexual or Physical Abuse Claims
There are several methods to fund your claim, the below options are a brief introduction. Our Solicitors would be happy to discuss any queries or concerns you may have.
1. Conditional fee agreement ‘no win no fee’
The funding option most preferred and most well-known is the conditional fee agreement (CFA).
This is better known has a ‘no win no fee’ agreement. The agreement is in writing and sets out the conditions of engagement between you the client and us the Solicitors.
This funding option means that you pay us nothing up front and we will seek to defer all disbursements such as medical/expert reports, court fees, medical records, Barrister’s fee etc to the end of your claim.
If your claim is unsuccessful and you have followed our advice and fully co-operated with us, you will not have to pay any of our legal costs or disbursements. If however you mislead or provide us with false information, the terms of the CFA would have been breached and you could become liable for our costs.
Any claim brought before April 2013, Solicitors were able to charge a success fee if successful with the claim, the defendant would be liable to pay this success fee. However changes brought by the Legal Aid, sentencing and Punishment of offenders Act 2013, meant that the success fee is no longer recoverable from the defendant (the other party). Current success fees are now paid for by the claimant (the person bringing the claim).
If you are successful with your claim most law firms will ask you to pay a success fee of 25% of your damages.
We have made a decision that in cases involving sexual and physical abuse that we will always aim to beat any offer made by a competitor firm.
2. Litigation Funding (After the Event ATE Insurance)
At been let down we have a duty to ensure that your claim is properly risk assessed to ensure that if you lose your case or if we fail to beat the defendant’s part 36 offer to settle, on the value of your claim or on liability, then your costs position is sufficiently protected.
We will discuss with you the need to purchase litigation insurance (ATE). Each policy selected is bespoke and suited to your claim and needs. The cost of the policy will vary depending upon the value and complexity of your claim, but we will work hard to obtain a competitive price.
The aim of the ATE policy is that it will cover the cost of your opponent’s legal costs, which could be several thousands of pounds. The ATE insurance provider will pay any adverse legal costs made against you in the event that you are unsuccessful. This also applies to unsuccessful interim applications.
As with success fee’s it was previously the case that the ATE insurance premium was recoverable from the opponent, recent legislation has changed this and all ATE insurance policies must be funded by you ‘the claimant’. ATE insurance will give you the peace of mind that you are financially protected. It will also cover the cost of your disbursements such as the cost of expert reports, court fees and Barristers fees.
We will not ask you to fund the ATE policy upfront, we will request that the insurer providing the policy defers payment until the conclusion of your claim. If you are successful with your claim then the ATE cost will simply be deducted from your recovered damages.
This system of funding a claim is tried and tested and removes the risk of you becoming exposed to personal financial risk.
The only requirement of an ATE insurance policy is that the insurer must be satisfied on the balance of probability that your claim as a reasonable prospects of success. Furthermore from time to time we will need to provide them updates on the progress of your case. You will also need to ensure that your instructions are truthful and that you co-operate with us at all times.
3. Before the Event Insurance or LEI insurance
This is an insurance product which you may have but you may not be aware of its existence. It’s a type of insurance product which covers you against the opponent’s legal costs of an action you pursue.
We have a duty to ensure that we investigate the existence of such insurance policies you may have and if we identify if you have such an insurance policy, then we will contact the insurance provider on your behalf and make enquires as to whether it covers your type of claim.
Please note that BTE insurance only covers your opponent’s legal costs and you will still need to consider funding your own legal costs with a Conditional fee agreement, in addition your own disbursements with an ATE insurance policy.
If BTE insurance is identified and they will cover and fund your claim and we are satisfied that they will provide adequate an indemnity upper limit, there is no need for you to purchase an after the event (ATE) insurance policy.
4. Legal Aid Funding
The government has made significant changes to the Legal Aid system in England and Wales post April 2013. It has meant that Legal Aid is much more difficult to obtain. It is however still available in Child Abuse claims but there is certain criteria which must be satisfied before it is granted.
The Legal Services Commission will ask for details of your finances and a successful application will depend on your level of income and assets. We do not hold a legal aid franchise in this area.
5. Private paying
From time to time we will accept instructions on a private paying basis. We can assist by offering favourable payment terms. Hourly rates charged are in line with the county court rules and will vary dependent on the level of experience and grade of the Solicitor who you instruct.