In some states, lawyers are permitted to charge plaintiffs a success fee when a no win no fee claim is successful.
What is a success fee?
When you enter into a conditional cost’s agreement with a law firm, depending on which State you suffered your accident and injuries in, the person representing you may be permitted to charge you a success/uplift fee. Such fees are an additional amount which may be payable on the successful outcome of a personal injury claim.
The uplift fee is designed to compensate the law firm for taking the initial risk involved in undertaking a personal injury case. The agreement must identify the basis on which the uplift fee is calculated however, the uplift fee must not exceed 25% of the fees otherwise payable.
Law firms must also give plaintiffs an estimate of what the extra costs are expected to be, and explain what variables determine the calculation of the uplift fee.
Can I challenge my lawyer’s success fee?
If you decide there is some kind of problem regarding your law firms’ legal fees, time limits apply so it’s important to act fast. There are several ways that you can challenge your lawyer’s legal fees. However, different states have different legislation and you will usually be governed by the law of the state or territory in which you first engaged the firm. In some cases, if your legal matter has a significant connection to another State or Territory you may abide by those laws if both the plaintiff and law firm agree.
Here are some important links if you have a problem with legal fees:
- New South Wales (OLSC)
- Victoria (LSBC)
- Queensland (LSC)
- Western Australia (LPBWA)
- South Australia (LPCC)
- Tasmania (LPBT)
- Australian Capital Territory (ACTLS)
- Northern Territory (LSNT)
The above-mentioned organisations can quickly help resolve any concerns.