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18 March 2015
For many years solicitors, including myself, were able to offer free legal services to those who had been injured through the fault of others. You would often see advertising such as '100% compensation guaranteed' because it really was as simple as that. if you were succesful in your case and were awarded compensation then you would keep all your compensation and not pay a penny piece for your legal costs, which in most cases would be met by an insurance company. Apart from state funded services such as the NHS I cannot think of any other service that could boast such an offer.
However, all good things come to an end and in 2013 Parliament accepted the insurance industry's arguments that they were paying too high a price for this particular luxury to be given to the people. Accordingly, Parliament fixed the legal costs that were payable by insurance companies at a substantially reduced rate. The result is that most solicitors will now only agree to take on a case where the person injured agrees to a deduction of up to 25% from the compensation awarded to them for injury and losses to make up for Parliament's reduction in legal costs.
Whether the percentage deduction is the maximum 25% will depend on many factors, including the complexity of the case, amount of work needed to conclude the claim and the level of compensation agreed, however under the circumstances now created by Parliament, the cautionary expression "you only get what you pay for" has never been more fitting.
Andrew Brown is a specialist at JWP Solicitors in Personal Injury work, so if you have had an accident and would like to discuss it with someone who can offer you the right advice with no strings attached, give Andy a call.