Barrister Conditional Fee Agreement
2. Subject to paragraph 3, a business contract at issue does not affect the amount or fees or remedies to recover the costs that the client must pay to a person other than the lawyer, and that person may, unless otherwise agreed, require that these fees be assessed in accordance with the current assessment rules. Simply put, a conditional fee agreement (CFA) is an agreement between a lawyer and his client, according to which the client must pay the legal fees only if the client wins his case. Conditional pricing agreements were previously illegal, but the law was amended in the 1990s to allow conditional fees under certain rules. In 2013, the Judicial Council, headed by the Lord Chief Justice, published, after extensive consultations with the judiciary, a judicial conduct guide containing a warning (point 3.18) against part-time judges, who also practice lawyers, and cases in which another lawyer, with whom they have a relationship, represents one of the parties in a conditional pricing agreement , because it could create a perception of bias. , since the lawyer (or their firm) depending on the judge`s decision. Not only might observers of such a situation fear that a judge might voluntarily favour a lawyer, but the judge could be unconsciously influenced. Unconscious influence could go both ways: the judge could be unconsciously influenced to decide so that the lawyer receives the conditional costs, or the judge, aware of the risk of unconscious bias, could be overcompensated and unconsciously influenced in the other direction. Although there is no explicit mention in the guide, caution would logically be the same when the lawyer is paid by the insurance, because, as explained below, this often involves a CFA between the lawyer and the insurance company.
This approach was taken up by Mr. Gordon-Saker in the interesting Case vilvarajah v. West London Law SCCO 17 May 2017 Master Gordon-Saker, where he found, mainly due to a high hourly rate of 420 $US for relatively trivial litigation, that it would be appropriate to terminate the conditional agreement under Section 61 and assess costs. A total bill of $31,945.48 was reduced to $15,323.20. Counsel is a lawyer, in the meaning of standard terms, who is a member of the Bar of England and Wales, who is willing and able to provide the services relating to the case and in accordance with the instructions of counsel. 3. If the lawyer`s success tax is not due by the opponent or the duck supplement because of non-compliance with the obligations of paragraphs 1, 2, 11, 12 or 13 of paragraph 5, counsel (subject to paragraphs 5 to 7) in this paragraph pays counsel the success fees that would have been reimbursed under that agreement. With respect to regular CFAs, there is a risk of conflict (as explained above) between the client and the lawyer, but if you read the CFA agreement carefully, it is at least possible to pay attention to it during the case. However, in the case of BTE insurance, you cannot read the CFA (the CFA is located between panel lawyers and insurers and it does not normally allow you to see a copy) and there may be additional reasons for conflicts outside the CFA itself.