At Nick Xenophon & Co Lawyers we believe that no injured person should be denied access to justice because of their financial situation. The No Win No Fee guarantee we have put in place is part of our promise and is available on a range of legal services.
1 – WHAT DOES NO WIN – NO FEE MEAN?
Under the No Win – No Fee agreement, if your claim is unsuccessful you may not need to pay any legal fees. If your claim is successful, however, even with the No Win – No Fee agreement you may be charged legal fees which may include a ‘success fee’. A success fee is typically a percentage added to the final costs. For example, under South Australian law if your claim is successful an increase in the costs of up to 25% is permitted as a success fee. This ‘uplift’ is not calculated as a percentage of your settlement money. The reason for charging a success fee is that Nick Xenophon & Co take the risk that your case might lose – and if this happens, we will not charge a fee for the work that we have done.
2 – CAN ANYONE ASK FOR NO WIN – NO FEE?
We offer No Win – No Fee agreements on a case-by-case basis. Before we will accept your case on a No Win – No Fee basis we must be satisfied that:-
• Your claim has legal merit
• Without the No Win – No Fee agreement you could not afford to take legal action
• You are fully aware of any likely costs to prepare and run your case
• You are informed of the risk of paying the other party’s costs if your claim is unsuccessful. This is a potential risk in all litigation and is further explained under the heading “If my court case is not successful, will I have to pay costs for the other party?” below.
3 – HOW ARE FEES CALCULATED UNDER A NO WIN – NO FEE AGREEMENT?
Before settlement, we’ll calculate our fees which will include costs for professional services. Our professional fees are essentially the time required for your lawyer and legal team to work on your case. We also charge for phone calls, faxes, photocopies, emails, postage and so on. The whole process is very transparent and we are happy to explain the costs associated with our services and exactly what no win no fee will mean to you.
4 – DOES A NO WIN – NO FEE AGREEMENT COVER OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES OF THE LAWYER?
In most legal matters, you will be required to incur expenses for services provided by other parties. These expenses are called disbursements. In litigation matters, disbursements are usually recoverable, in total or in part, from the other party if the case is successful. All reasonably incurred disbursements that cannot be recovered from the other party will form part of the legal costs payable by you. Examples of disbursements include fees charged by courts, doctors, experts and barristers. We may require you to make a contribution towards the disbursements incurred or to be incurred on your behalf. If you are unable to fund disbursements yourself, we can offer you access to funds through a Litigation Funder. Your lawyer will discuss this with you. The Funder will provide you with a finance facility to cover disbursements and we will use these funds when bills are payable for services provided by other parties. In compensation matters, at the conclusion of your case, your lawyer will deduct from the compensation you receive, the total amount owed to the Litigation Funder plus interest, and fees and charges that may have accrued over the duration of your claim. You will be reimbursed these amounts if they are recoverable from the other party. To see an example of such a Funder go to:www.lawsocietysa.asn.au/other/litigation_assistance_fund.asp
5 – IF MY COURT CASE IS NOT SUCCESSFUL, WILL I HAVE TO PAY COSTS FOR THE OTHER PARTY?
There are always potential risks associated with taking court action. Most courts and tribunals are authorised to instruct you to pay the other party’s costs (i.e. the defendant’s costs) if your case is unsuccessful. While there is a real risk, it is important to remember that being ordered to pay the other party’s costs is only made in a small percentage of cases (i.e. most matters resolve before proceeding to trial). This risk occurs in all litigation. You can be assured that your case will be continually monitored and assessed to ensure you are not exposed to an unreasonable risk of having to pay the other party’s costs.
6 – WHAT ARE NICK XENOPHON AND CO’S OBLIGATIONS IN A NO WIN – NO FEE AGREEMENT?
We will set out the conditions for the No Win – No Fee agreement in a written Fee & Retainer Agreement which you will need to sign before we start work on your claim as No Win – No Fee. The Fee & Retainer Agreement also sets out our obligations to you, the client, which in general terms are to: Work on your claim in a prompt, efficient and professional manner
• Regularly inform you of the progress of your claim
• Consult you before any special or unusual expense is incurred
• Advise you if and when our estimate of your legal costs changes substantially.
7 – WHAT ARE MY OBLIGATIONS IN A NO WIN – NO FEE AGREEMENT?
Under a No Win – No Fee agreement we ask that you, in general:
• Tell us openly and honestly everything that is relevant to your claim and let us know of any material change in your circumstances that might impact on your claim
• Fully co-operate with us and do everything that we reasonably ask
• Accept and follow all reasonable advice that we give you. But, if there is a dispute about whether our advice is reasonable, we both agree to accept the opinion of an independent barrister agreed between us, or, if we cannot agree, one nominated by the Law Society of SA
• Retain No Win – No Fee lawyers Nick Xenophon & Co as your lawyers until your claim is finalised.
TALK TO US If you would like more information about legal costs and No Win – No Fee agreements please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us either by submitting an online enquiry at www.xenlaw.com.au or by calling us direct on (08) 8336 8888.