Conditional Fee Agreement
This AGREEMENT is made on …….……..
JULIA & RANA SOLICITORS 320 Romford Road, London E7 8BD (‘the Firm’)
This Agreement is a binding legal contract. Before you sign, please read everything carefully.
THE PARTIES AGREE:
1 Definitions and Interpretation
In this Agreement, unless otherwise provided:
Advocacy means appearing for you at court hearings.
After-the-event-Insurance means any insurance policy you purchase to provide indemnity against the risk of paying our Disbursements and/or the opening Party’s legal cost and disbursements.
Base Costs means our charges for the work we do on your claim (to include any applicable tax thereon) calculate in accordance with clause 4, focusing on clause 4.5:
Claim means your claims as set out in clause 2.1 whether court proceedings are issued.
Counter Claim means a claim the opposing party makes against you in response to your claim
Damages mean money you win whether by a Court Decision or Settlement.
Disbursements means payment we make or agree to make on your behalf during the Claim, including the fees of barristers who do have a CFA with us, and any applicable tax thereon.
Insurance Premium means the cost of any after-the-event insurance policy.
Interim damages mean money a court says the opposing party must pay or the opposing party agrees to pay while waiting for a settlement or the court’s final decision.
Interim disputes mean a dispute or matter arising during the claims that is the subject of an interim application whether it proceeds to an interim hearing.
Interim hearing means a court that is not final.
Lien means our right to keep all papers, documents, money, or the other property held on your behalf until all money due to us is paid. A Lien may be applied after this agreement ends.
Lose means the court has dismissed your claim or you have stopped it on our advice. Lose for the purpose of an Interim dispute is an order made in favour of the opposing Party, including an Order or agreement to pay the opposing party’s costs of the Interim disputes.
Opposing Party means the party against whom the claim is made.
Paying party means the party who is liable to pay the costs to you whether pursuant to a court order or under the terms of an Agreement with you. The paying party will usually be the opposing party.
Part 36 offer or payment shall have the meaning set out in part 36 of the civil Procedures rules 1998.
Proceedings Includes any sort of proceedings (and is not confined to proceedings in a court) whether commenced or contemplated, subject to the terms of section 58 of the courts and Legal Services Act 1990.
Success fee means the percentage by which Base Costs are to be increased in the event of a win, together with VAT thereon as appropriate. The guidance around success fee is set out in clause 5.1 The success fee cannot exceed 100% of the basic charge however please focus on clause 4.5 in relation to your claim.
Trial means the final contested hearing or the contested hearing of any issue to be tried separately and a reference to a claim concluding at trial includes a claim settled after the trial has commenced.
VAT means value added tax.
Win as the context requires, a final decision made in the Claim whether by a decision of a Court or by agreement with the opposing Party, whereby you become entitled to damages or become entitled to be paid all or parts of the costs of the claim by the Opposing party. A final decision is one where the Opposing Party is denied permission to appeal, or does not appeal in time, or loses their appeal. A win for the purposes of an interim Disputes is an order made in favour of the client including an order or agreement to pay you costs of the interim Dispute.
Unless the context otherwise requires:
1.2.1 the singular includes the plural and vice versa.
1.2.2 references to persons include individuals, un-incorporated bodies, government entities, companies, and corporations.
1.2.3 references to legislation include any modification or re-enactment thereof.
1.2.4 clause headings do affect their interpretation: and
1.2.5 general words are not limited by an example.
What is a conditional fee agreement (CFA)?
A CFA (also known as a conditional fee agreement) covers the concept of a ‘no win no fee’ agreement relating to your claim for compensation. Subject to the other terms of this agreement, you will only pay us if you win your claim. If you win, we will usually be able to recover part of our charges from your opponent, and the rest will be deducted from your compensation.
Since your claim is likely to be part of a substantial group of similar claims, we may work with other lawyers, both inside and outside the UK. By entering this agreement, you authorise us to share or delegate work to other legal practices and/or third parties where we consider that to be appropriate, and to charge for the work they do if you win.
If your claim goes to court, the court can order you to pay other parties’ legal costs. To protect you against this risk, by entering this agreement you also authorise us to arrange insurance where appropriate to cover such costs and to deduct the premium from any compensation you recover. This deduction will be subject to the 20 per cent plus VAT cap.
This agreement is a legal contract between you and us. Please read everything carefully.
2. What is covered in this Agreement?
2.1 Your claim for compensation from BOLT for unpaid/ backdated holiday pay, national minimum wage and Pension as you are recognised as a worker rather than a self-employed contractor.
2.2 Any application for Pre-action or Non-party Disclosure.
2.3 Any appeal by the Opposing party within the proceedings.
2.4 Any appeal you make against an interim order or an assessment of costs.
2.5 Negotiation about and/or a court assessment of the costs of this claim.
3. What is not covered by this Agreement?
3.1 Any counter claim against you.
3.2 Any Appeal you make, or any appeal by the opposing party, against the final judgment or order.
3.3 Any reference to the European court of justice.
3.4 Any other proceeding arising from by not joined with the matter subject of this agreement unless we have agreed to the contrary.
4. Explanation of Base Costs:
4.1 Base costs are calculated based on an hourly rate as follows:
Grade B: Solicitors and Legal Executives with 4+ years PQE
Grade C: Solicitors and Legal Executives with 0-4 Years PQE
Grade D Trainee Solicitors, Paralegals and other fee earners
4.2 Short outgoings letters and routine phone calls are charged at 1/10 of an hour. All other work is timed in minutes units and charged at the relevant hourly rate.
4.3 We will add VAT at the prevailing rate when applicable.
4.4 We will review our hourly rates an annual basis. This is usually done each year in January. We will give you notice of any change to our hourly rates.
4.5 The success fee is recoverable from your award and therefore will be capped at 20% plus VAT for any Damages that you are awarded for holiday pay and 25% plus VAT for your claim of unpaid national minimum wage - whether by a court decision or settlement agreement . This is known as the success fee cap and it:
does not include any applicable tax; and
does not include the success fee of any barrister who is acting on a CFA.
If there is anything that you wish to discuss about the success fee, please contact us before signing this agreement.
5. General rules surrounding the success Fee:
5.1 The success Fee is set at 100% of our base Costs.
5.2 The success fee percentage reflects all relevant factors as they reasonably appear to us on the date this agreement is entered in to, including, but not limited to:
5.2.1 Our assessment of your prospects of success, i.e.:
(a) Complexity of your matter including technical issues specific to your claim e.g., drafting of pleading and is not being inclusive of entire claim.
(b) Conduct of your case thus far and the difficulties presented by such conduct.
(c) Defendant’s position including defence filed.
5.2.2 the fact that if you lose, we will not earn anything.
5.2.3 the fact that if you win, we will not be paid until the end of your claim.
5.2.4 Our arrangements with you about paying disbursements.
5.3 The success Fee cannot be more than 100% of our base Costs but otherwise there is no maximum limit on the amount of the success fee.
6.1 Disbursements are payments we make or agree to make on your behalf during the claim, e.g., court fees, expert fees, travel expenses and the fees of Barristers who do not have a CFA with us.
6.2 You remain responsible for any disbursement which becomes necessary, and we may require you to pay on account a sum to cover such disbursements in advance.
6.3 If you receive any interim damages, we may require you to pay any Disbursements we have incurred up to that point and a reasonable amount for our future Disbursements.
7. Paying us if you win
7.1 If you win your Claim, you pay the agreed base costs highlighted in clause 4.5 (above), our disbursements together, with the insurance Premium for any After-the-event Insurance you take out.
7.2 Normally, you can claim part of our Base Costs and Disbursements from the Opposing Party. You provide us with your irrevocable agreement to pursuant such a Claim on your behalf. If we and the Opposing party cannot agree the amount, the court will decide how much you can recover. You remain liable for paying our Base Costs and Disbursements in full regardless of any amounts.
7.3 You cannot claim from the opposing party the success fees or the insurance Premium for any After-the-event insurance Premiums For any After-the-event Insurance you take out. You, not the opposing Party, Pay our success Fee [subject to the cap in clause 4.5) and any insurance premium.
7.4 Clause 9 deals with the payment of barrister’s fees if you win.
7.5 You agree that any damages due to you from the opposing Party shall be payable to us, and:
7.5.1 We may deduct from your damages any unpaid Base Costs, Disbursements and due to us plus any barrister’s fees and Insurance Premium payable.
7.5.2 If we ask you to, you will sign a form of authority allowing us to do this
7.6 You agree to pay into a designated account any cheque received by you or by us from the Opposing Party and made payable to you. Out of the money, you agree to let us take our unpaid Base Costs, Disbursements, Success Fee, barristers fees (if applicable), the Insurance Premium (if applicable) and VAT.
7.7 You have the right to apply to the court for assessment of our costs, including the Success Fee. If you make such an application, the court will have regard to all the relevant factors as they reasonably appeared to us when this agreement was entered into or varied.
7.8 You agree that after Winning, the reasons for setting the Success fee at the amount stated may be disclosed to the court and any other person required by the court.
7.9 We are allowed to keep any interest the opposing Party pays on any costs.
7.10 If the opposing Party does not pay any Damages or costs owed to you, we have the right to take recovery action in your name to enforce a judgement, order, or agreement. The costs of this action become part of the Base Costs.
7.11 It may be that the opposing party makes a part of 36 Offer or Payment which you reject on our advice, and you pursue your Claim to Trial or settlement Where you recover damages that are less than or equal to the part 36 Offer or Payment. If this happens, you will still have Won your case but:
7.11.1 we will charge our unpaid base costs and success fee for the period up to 21 days after we received notice of the part 36 offer or payment and thereafter, we will not claim any base costs or success fee.
7.11.2 You will remain liable for our Disbursements and the fees of any barrister who is not acting on a no-win-no-fee basis; and
7.11.3 You will usually be ordered to pay the Opposing Party’s costs from 21 days after the offer or payment was received- After-the-event- Insurance may be available to cover any such order and this is explained at clause 14 below.
7.11.4 Should BOLT approach you directly with an offer you are happy to accept, you remain liable to pay our success fee from that offer.
8 If you Lose?
8.1 If you Lose, you do not pay our Base Costs or Success Fee, but you will be liable to pay:
8.1.1 our Disbursements.
8.1.2 the fees of any barrister who did not enter a CFA with us; and
8.1.3 the Opposing Party’s cost.
8.2 You may be able to take out an insurance policy against some or all this risk. This is explained at clause 14 below
9 Payment for advocacy and barrister’s fees
9.1 The cost of Advocacy and any other work by us, or by any solicitor agent on our behalf, form’s part our Base Costs.
9.2 Barristers’ fees are not included in our Base Costs. If it becomes necessary to instruct a barrister, we will discuss with the choice of barrister and arrangements for payment of the barrister’s fees, including whether the barrister is willing to enter into conditional fee agreement.
9.3 Barristers who have a conditional fee agreement with us
9.3.1 If the barrister is willing to do so, we will enter a separate CFA with them. This will usually be on the basis that:
(a) If you win, the barrister will charge a success fee in addition to their fees-the barrister’s Success Fee will be set out in the separate CFA we make with them; and
(b) If you Lose, the barrister will not charge any fee or will charge a reduced fee.
9.3.2 We will discuss the barrister’s success fee with you before we instruct them.
9.4 Barristers who do not have a conditional fee agreement with us
9.4.1 We may not be able to find a suitable barrister who is willing to act on CFA or you may decide that you do not wish to pay a success fee to the barrister. If so, it will be necessary to instruct the barrister on the basis that you are liable to pay their fee in full, Win or Lose.
9.4.2 If you Win, you will normally be entitled to recover all or part of any barrister’s fee from the opposing party, but you remain liable to pay their fees in full.
9.4.3 If you Lose, you must pay the barrister’s fee in full.
10.1 If on the way to Winning or Losing you are awarded any costs, by agreement or court order, we are entitled to payment of those costs, together with a success fee on those charges if you Win overall.
11 Our responsibilities
11.1 We must:
11.1.1 always act in your best interests, subject to our duty to the court.
11.1.2 explain to you the risks and benefits of taking legal action.
11.1.3 give you our best advice about whether to accept any offer of settlement.
11.1.4 give you the best information possible about the likely costs of your Claim.
12 Your responsibility
12.1 You must:
12.1.1 gives us instruction that allow us to do our work properly
12.1.2 not ask us to work in an improper or unreasonable way.
12.1.3 not deliberately or recklessly mislead us.
12.1.4 co-operate with us fully.
12.1.5 go to any court hearing.
12.1.6 Respond to our requests and correspondence promptly, diligently, and as fully as you can.
12.1.7 Notify us of any changes including change of address and contact details promptly.
13.1 If you terminate the Agreement:
You can end the Agreement within 14 days of signing up, however if you decide to end the agreement over the 14-day period you will be liable for an admin fee of £250.00. Depending on when the agreement ends, we then have the right to decide whether you must:
(a) pay our Base Costs and our Disbursements, including barristers’ fees but not the success fee when we ask for them; or
(b) pay our Base Costs and our Disbursements, including barristers’ fees and the success fees if you go on to Win your Claim.
13.2 If we terminate the Agreement:
We can end this Agreement if you do not keep to your responsibilities in clause 12. We then have the right to decide whether you must:
(a) pay our Base Costs and our Disbursements, including barristers’ fees but not the Success Fee when we ask for them; or
(b) pay our Base Costs and our Disbursements, including barristers’ fees and the Success Fees if you go on to Win your Claim.
13.3 We can end this Agreement if we believe you are unlikely to Win. If this happens, you will not have to pay our Base Costs, but you will have to pay our Disbursements, including the fees of any barrister who does not have a CFA with us along with admin fee of £250.00 depending on what work has been done.
13.4 We can end this Agreement if you reject our opinion about making a settlement with the Opposing Party. This includes a situation where you reject our advice to accept a part 36 Offer or Payment made by the opposing party. You must then:
13.4.1 pay our Base Costs and our Disbursements, including barristers’ fees; and
13.4.2 pay the success fee if you go on to Win your Claim.
13.5 If you ask to get a second opinion from a specialist solicitor outside our Firm, we will do so. You pay the cost of a second opinion, which we may require you to pay prior to us instructing for a second opinion, unless we agree with you to the contrary.
14.1 You may be able to take out an insurance policy against the risk of paying Disbursements if you Lose, or some or all the Opposing Party’s costs. This is called After-the-event-Insurance.
14.2 If you Win, you will be responsible for paying the Insurance Premium for any After-the-event-Insurance you take out and you cannot claim any of the cost from the opposing party.
14.3 If you Lose, the premium will usually be self-insured and therefore not payable. Full details are contained in the insurance policy documents. We will give further information about insurance policies to you so that you decide whether you wish to take.
15.1 If you die before you claim is concluded, this Agreement automatically ends, and we will be entitled to recover our Base Costs and Disbursements up to date of your death from your estate.
15.2 If your personal representatives wish to continue your Claim, we may offer them a new CFA, if they agree to pay the Success Fee on our Base Costs from the date of this Agreement.
16. What happen after this agreement ends
16.1 After this Agreement ends, we may apply to have our name removed from the record of any Proceedings in which we are acting, unless we enter another form of funding with you.
16.2 We have the right to preserve our lien, unless another solicitor working for you to undertakes to pay us what we are owed under this agreement including a Success Fee if you Win.
17.1 No amendment or variation of this agreement will be valid unless confirmed in writing by an authorised signatory of each party.
18.1 The Parties acknowledge and agree that this agreement is not a contentious business Agreement within the terms of the solicitors Act 1974.
Bolt Drivers Group Litigation
Summary of the Terms and Conditions
For your ease of reference, we have included below a summary of the main terms found within your CFA document:
The document you are signing is a conditional fee agreement (CFA) and is a ‘no-win, no-fee’ agreement. If your claim against BOLT if unsuccessful and you have not breached the terms/clauses of the agreement you will not be charged our professional fees.
If you do win, we will seek to recover our legal costs from the Defendant and from the compensation awarded to you, subject to a cap of 20% plus VAT for unpaid/backdated holiday pay and 25% plus VAT for national minimum wage claims. Legal costs mean the cost of the work we have done on your behalf (including success fee) and disbursement costs such as Barrister and Court fees.
Should you be offered a sum from BOLT directly and decide to accept you will remain liable to pay our success fee at the agreed percentages.
In the end, no matter what, we will not deduct more than 20% plus VAT from your compensation for your unpaid holiday claim and 25% plus VAT for your national minimum wage claim. This agreement is fair and so everyone receives what they are entitled to caters to all, we hope you feel the same. Upon a successful claim you will be provided with a complete breakdown for your reference and understanding.
Your full co-operation is required whilst conducting your claim, this can be a short claim or a lengthy process. Failure to co-operate or correspond with us may mean we are unable to act for you and the retainer should be terminated. We would appreciate your understanding and patience during this. Every step needs to be meticulously thought about as working on a no win no fee basis is a risk we are taking.
You have 14 days from sign-up to change your mind about proceeding with your claim. To do so, you simply need to inform us in writing that you no longer wish to proceed with your claim. However, should you decide to leave after the 14 days period you will be charged an admin fee of £250.00.