If we believe that your case has prospects of succeeding, we will offer funding options to you and should you accept then your fight against the Police can begin.
At Irvings Law, there are various ways within which you can fund your Police claim. These are:
- By way of a Conditional Fee (“no win no fee”) Agreement,
- On a “private client” basis,
- By utilising existing “before the event” insurance
Conditional Fee (“no win no fee”) Agreements
If we consider that your case meets our prospects criteria, we will offer you ‘no win, no fee’ terms.
The main advantage with funding your Police claim in this way is that you will not have to pay our legal fees during the lifetime your case (even if you lose) should our agreement terms in relation to your conduct be followed by you. In no uncertain terms, this essentially means that if you don’t win, we do not get paid. At Irvings Law, we already have an extremely strong incentive to help you win your Police claim on a principle level but not being paid after potentially several years in representing you is a little added incentive for us.
Due to this risk of working for you under ‘no win, no fee’ terms, we can take what is called a “success fee” out of the compensation that you receive in the event of a successful outcome. Our “success fee” is calculated through our basic charges and you pay it out of the money that you recover when you win so that you are never out-of-pocket. At Irvings Law, we limit our “success fee” to 25% of the compensation that you receive so it is guaranteed that you will receive at least 75% of the compensation that we recover for you. We say “at least 75%” because we usually reduce our “success fee” down (in some cases to nil) as in some circumstances, all of our fees can be recovered from the Police.
The only disadvantage with funding your Police claim in this way is that if you lose at Court and you are unable to obtain insurance, you may have to pay the Police’s fees and your own “disbursements” (experts’ fees, court fees etc.).
“Private Client” Basis
At Irvings Law, we are extremely confident in the cases that we offer ‘no win, no fee’ terms to. If these terms are unable to be offered to you (usually due to our assessment that your case’s prospects of success are below 50%) but you still feel that you want to instruct us and continue in your fight against the Police against our advice, then you would be instructing us as a private client which means that you agree to pay us personally to bring your case against the Police. If you choose to do this, we will agree a contract for work that we will do for in relation to the scope of work to be done, likely overall legal fees, payment on account and ongoing payment terms.
The main advantage in choosing to do this is that upon conclusion of a successful claim, you will receive all of compensation as there will be no “success fee” payable. You also have certainty in that you know the scope of work that is to be done be us and the likely (but not fixed unless agreed) cost of our legal fees.
As explained above, the main disadvantage is that you will have to fund your Police claim (against advice) with an initial payment on account and regular interim payments which can be expensive. To give you an idea, Police claims can run into the tens of thousands of pounds if they proceed all the way to a fully contested Trial. Even if you do win, you will usually have a shortfall in the legal costs that you can recover which you will still have to pay. If you lose, you will have to pay all your own legal fees together with your disbursements, barrister’s fees and Police’s costs.
“Before the Event Insurance”
“Before the Event” insurance is cover that you already have in place (usually through a Legal Expenses Add-On to your trade union, car, home and pet insurance policies entered into before the incident arising from your Police claim happened) which can be utilised.
If available, this insurance will provide you with cover for your own legal costs, disbursements and the Police’s fees (up to certain limits) and no “success fee” will be deducted from any compensation that is awarded to you. However, this insurance very rarely applies in Police claims because these are excluded from policies and even if it did, insurers often decline to cover you as these claims are perceived to be hard to win.
A Short Note on Legal Aid
At Irvings Law, we do not offer Legal Aid.
Although having Legal Aid (if granted by the Legal Aid Agency) provides no “success fee” deductions from compensation awarded to you and it provides funding for your own legal fees, your disbursements and protection for the Police’s costs should your case lose at Court, it is often extremely hard to obtain as the Legal Aid Agency has very strict merit and financial means tests.
Even if you are eligible, you will have to pay legal fees to complete the Legal Aid application and deal with any appeals to them which are not recoverable from the Police in the event of a successful outcome. Also, you may have to pay a lump sum and/or monthly contributions towards your Legal Aid costs and that is not to mention that your Legal Aid can be taken away at any moment if the Legal Aid Agency believes that your case no longer has prospects of success; the Legal Aid Agency’s merit assessments are often high standards.
A Legally Aided case, if taken all the way to a fully contested Trial, will incorporate hefty delays as at each stage of the litigation, the Legal Aid Agency assess the prospects of your claim succeeding. Without this assessment and permission to proceed from the Legal Aid Agency, your case cannot progress. If your cases does go to Trial and you win your Police claim, you then have to pay back the Legal Aid costs which if all are not recovered from the Police then you have to pay a “statutory charge” from the compensation that you will receive.
In short, there are better alternatives (other than Legal Aid) in order to fund your Police claim; the best being a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement. At Irvings Law, we consider this to be the best funding option for you as it is quick and easy to set up, it is straightforward to explain and understand, there is minimal paperwork and most importantly there are no delays in starting and progressing your case so that justice can be obtained for you at the earliest opportunity.
Author: Matthew McConville