01744 744400

Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA): What You Need to Know

General Terms

1.1 If any of the following events occur, you will break the Agreement and you will be liable to pay our fees:

  1. You fail to co-operate with us;
  2. You fail to attend any pre-arranged appointment (e.g. medical or expert examination) or Court hearing which we reasonably request you to attend;
  3. You fail to give us necessary instructions when we ask for them; or
  4. You withdraw instructions from us.

1.2 In the event of your death, your claim can survive subject to your Personal Representatives agreeing to instruct us under the terms of a new Conditional Fee Agreement.

1.3 If your Personal Representatives do not provide such instructions, this agreement will be deemed terminated pursuant to section 1.1 above and we may seek recovery of our basic charges and expenses up to the date of your death from your estate.


2.1 If your claim is successful, you will be paid damages by your opponent. The damages are the amount of money you will receive.

2.2 After your damages have been awarded, we will seek to recover our fees, which will comprise our basic costs, disbursements made on your behalf and a success fee.

Basic Charges

3.1 These are our charges for the legal work we do, based on the rate we charge which is set out in the enclosed Client Care Booklet.


4.1 These are costs for work done by a Third party. For example, these may be court fees, barristers’ fees, experts’ fees, accident report fees and official search fees. Payment for this type of expense falls to the Claimant but funding options are available for this type of fee.

Success Fee Explanation

5.1 A success fee is an increase in the amount of our basic charges which is payable, by you, if you win your case.

5.2 There is always an element of risk with any claim. Obviously, some claims are perceived as carrying more risks than others, despite the merits of the case. Instead of choosing only those cases that carry the least risk, we accept a range of claims and risks.

5.3 The amount gained through Success Fees allows us to absorb the costs of unsuccessful claims.

5.4 The Success Fee is claimed as a percentage of our Basic Charges, up to a maximum of 100% but capped at 25% of the damages you recover relating to;

  1. General damages for pain, suffering, and loss of amenity; and
  2. Damages for pecuniary loss, other than future pecuniary loss

Net of any sums recoverable by the Compensation Recovery Unit of the Department of Work and Pensions, inclusive of VAT.

5.5 The Success Fee cannot exceed 25% of the damages described at 5.4 and the 25% cap must include the Solicitors Success Fee, the Barrister’s Success Fee (if applicable) and VAT.

5.6 The 25% cap will apply to net damages received by you, after the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit recovery through the Compensation Recovery Unit (where applicable).

Success Fee Claimed In This Case

6.1 We claim the percentage set out in clause 4.1 of the CFA (subject to the cap of 25% of the damages awarded).

Reasons for the Success Fee In This Case

7.1 The Success Fee reflects the risks associated with your type of case. These risks include the following:

  1. Our assessment of the risks of your case;
  2. We have yet to obtain any formal witness evidence;
  3. There are inherent risks to any litigation;
  4. The future risk of failing to beat a Part 36 offer.

7.2 In cases of public liability the Defendant is likely to hold documents or records relating to maintenance, cleaning or inspection. These may be subject to statutory defences.

7.3 In claims arising from your employment, the Defendant is likely to hold records of training or safety procedures.

7.4 If you lose, we will not receive any contribution to our costs.

What Happens If You Win

8.1 You are then liable to pay all our basic charges, disbursements, success fee and the insurance premium for any After-the-Event insurance taken out.

8.2 You may be able to recover part or all of our basic charges and disbursements from your opponent.

8.3 You will not be able to recover the Success Fee or your insurance premium (if applicable) from your opponent. You must pay both costs yourself.

8.4 If you and your opponent cannot agree the amount, the Court will decide how much you can recover. If the amount agreed or allowed by the Court does not cover all our basic charges and disbursements, we will seek to recover the balance from you.

8.5 We are allowed to keep any interest your opponent pays on the charges.

Part 36 Offers

9.1 It may be that your opponent makes a Part 36 offer or a payment which you reject on our advice and your claim for damages goes ahead to trial where you recover damages that are less than that offer or payment. In such circumstances, you may be required to pay some of your opponent’s costs and disbursements. If you are insured against payment of these amounts by your Insurance Policy, we will make a claim on your behalf.

9.2 If you make a Part 36 offer which your opponent rejects and you go on to win your case and receive damages that are at least as advantageous as your Part 36 Offer, then the court may order the defendant to pay you an additional amount as an extra sanction. If the court does order this extra sanction, this additional amount will be calculated as 10% of damages (where the claim is or includes a money claim) or 10% of costs for non-monetary claims.

This will however, be capped for larger claims as it will be calculated as 10% of amounts up to £500,000 and 5% of amounts between £500,000 and £1,000,000. The maximum uplift will be £75,000.

What Happens If You Lose

10.1 In the majority of cases, you do not have to pay any of our basic charges or our success fee.

10.2 Subject to the conditions set out in 10.3 you will not have to pay your opponent’s legal charges.

10.3 The conditions of 10.2 are that you will have to pay your opponent’s legal charges if;

  1. Your claim is found to be fraudulent on the balance of probabilities;
  2. You have failed to beat your opponent’s Part 36 Offer to Settle i.e. your opponent offered you a payment to settle out of court which was higher than the amount of damages that you were awarded at court;
  3. The case has been struck out because you have disclosed no reasonable cause of action or where it is otherwise an abuse of the court’s process.

10.4 If you are insured against payment of these amounts by your Insurance Policy, we will make a claim on your behalf. If you are not already insured against such risks we may, at any stage of your claim, recommend a policy of insurance against this risk to you. Where any claim we make for our disbursements under such a policy exceeds any indemnity provided, we agree to cap our claim for disbursements at a sum not exceeding the available indemnity. You may remain liable to pay any premium in respect of such a policy.

Termination of This Agreement

11.1 We may end the Agreement if:

  1. You reject our opinion about making a settlement with your opponent.
    If this happens we can obtain a second opinion from an independent solicitor or barrister on the merits of the proposed settlement (this shall be at your expense).
  2. We believe that you are unlikely to win your claim.
    If this happens you will only have to pay our disbursements. However, if you go on to win your case, our basic charges and disbursements must be included in any claim for costs from the Defendant, and you must pay our success fee subject to section ?? above.
  3. We believe you have not kept to your responsibilities (see ??).
    If this happens, we have the right to decide whether you must both pay our basic charges and our disbursements including barristers’ fees but not the success fee when we ask for them or pay our basic charges and our disbursements including barristers’ fees and success fee if you go on to win your claim for damages.

11.2 You may end this agreement at any time. However, we then have the right to decide whether you must pay our basic charges and our disbursements, including barristers’ fees but not the success fee when we ask for them or pay our basic charges and our disbursements including barristers’ fees and success fee if you go on to win your claim for damages.

Interim Hearings

12.1 If on the way to winning or losing you win an interim hearing and are awarded costs for that hearing, then we are entitled to payment of our basic charges and disbursements related to that hearing insofar as the court orders them to be paid by the defendant and the defendant pays them, together with a success fee on those charges if you win overall.

12.2 If you win but on the way lose an interim hearing, you may be required to pay your opponent’s charges of that hearing.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

13.1 We add VAT at the rate that applies when the work is done, to the total of the Basic Charges

13.2 The Success Fee that we charge will be inclusive of VAT.


14.1 Win, means your claim for damages is finally decided in your favour, whether by a court decision or an agreement to pay you damages. ‘Finally’ means that your opponent:

  1. Is not allowed to appeal against the court decision; or
  2. Has not appealed in time; or
  3. Has lost any appeal.

14.2 Lose, means the court has dismissed your claim or you have stopped it on our advice.


15.1 If you do not have suitable insurance in place to cover the risks of losing your case we may recommend such cover to you.

15.2 This agreement complies with the requirements of the Access to Justice Act 1999, section 58 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (as amended) and the SRA Handbook.

Our Responsibilities – We Must:

16.1 Always act in your best interests, subject to our duty to the court;

16.2 Explain to you the risks and benefits of taking legal action;

16.3 Give you our best advice about whether to accept any offer of settlement;

16.4 Give you the best information possible about the likely costs of your claim for damages.

Your Responsibilities – You Must:

17.1 Give us instructions that allow us to do our work properly;

17.2 Not ask us to work in an improper or unreasonable way;

17.3 Not deliberately mislead us;

17.4 Co-operate with us;

17.5 Go to any pre-arranged arranged appointment or court hearing.

Audits/Data Protection

From time to time our files may be subject to auditing by various bodies such as the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority, or your insurance broker or their representative for the purpose of quality control. Unless you specifically object to this, we will presume that you are content for us to submit your file and medical records to the auditors for this purpose only.

Please note that in order to carry out our instructions, it will be necessary to share your personal information with other agencies and companies. This will take the form of entering your personal information onto secure websites and including it in letters, emails and other forms of communication. These will include but are not limited to:

Third party insurers and solicitors and/or the Motor Insurers Bureau in order to submit and advance your claim;
Medco and the medical agencies we use to obtain your medical reports;
Her Majesty’s Court Service in the event that court proceedings are required;
Our IT providers who will store your information and who has agreed not to use it for any other purpose;
Any other body with whom we need to correspond regarding your claim.

Please note that any transmission of personal information will be strictly limited to what is necessary in order to carry out the work on your behalf. By signing this agreement you agree to allow us to do this. You may withdraw your consent to the transmission of your personal information at any time either in writing, by email, or by telephone, but please note that if the result of the withdrawal of consent means that we are unable to fulfill our contract, then such withdrawal will be treated as a breach of contract on your part.

Hattons Legal Services Limited registered in England and Wales Reg. No. 09771400
VAT registration number 703425861.
Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA No 628665.

A list of the directors is available for inspection at the above office, together with details of their professional qualifications.
This firm is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry on insurance distribution activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at register.fca.org.uk/s/