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No Win - No Fee lawyers of Slater and Gordon believe that every Australian has the right to legal representation no matter what their financial circumstances.
Slater and Gordon's innovative No Win - No Fee arrangement is designed with exactly that purpose in mind. Introduced to Victorians in 1994, No Win - No Fee was created in direct response to growing community concern that access to legal justice was beyond the reach of many and increasingly restricted to those with the financial resources to pay for it.
No Win - No Fee has meant that many Australians whose financial situation would otherwise deny them legal representation are now able to access the legal system.
How does No Win - No Fee work?
Under the No Win - No Fee arrangement, 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 arrangement 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 Victorian 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.
Is No Win - No Fee available in all cases?
Slater and Gordon offer No Win - No Fee arrangements for all areas of compensation law including asbestos-related diseases, workers claims, compensation claims, motor vehicle claims and medical law claims.
However in some cases, such as complex medical law claims, with the No Win - No Fee you may be required to contribute to the upfront cost of the initial investigative reports. We will assess and discuss with you any likely additional costs before you agree to be our client.
The No Win - No Fee arrangement is generally not available in non-compensation claim cases such as family and employment law or commercial litigation.
Can anyone ask for No Win - No Fee?
We offer No Win - No Fee arrangements 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 arrangement 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.
What are Slater and Gordon's obligations in a No Win - No Fee arrangement?
We will set out the conditions for the No Win - No Fee arrangement in a written Fee and Retainer Agreement which you will need to sign before we start work on your claim as No Win - No Fee.
The Fee and 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.
What are my obligations in a No Win - No Fee arrangement?
Under a No Win - No Fee arrangement 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 institute or society in your state
- Retain No Win - No Fee lawyers Slater and Gordon as your lawyers until your claim is finalised.