Advantage and Disadvantage of Conditional Fee Agreements

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STUDENT: Abdulla Shafeeg Ali

3. Analyse the advantages and disadvantages of conditional fee arrangements for legal aid.

A conditional fee arrangement is basically a form of risk sharing whereby if the lawyer loses the case, the client does not have to pay. However, if the case is won, the lawyer can be recompensed through a success fee, which is worked out as a percentage of his cost. In the US, many cases have been funded this way but in English legal system conditional fee arrangement had been banned until the enactment of the Courts and Legal Service Act 1990. Under the Access to Justice Act 1999 conditional fees form an important part of the government strategy for funding civil cases. There are advantages and disadvantages of conditional fee arrangement, in this essay I would like to explain about this issues. As with many, if not all, aspects of law everyone has an opinion. It is these opinions that help make up the advantages and disadvantages, in this case, of conditional fee arrangement (or conditional fee agreement) The main advantage is cost to the state. Conditional fee agreements cost the state nothing – the costs are entirely borne by the solicitor or the losing party, depending on the outcome. By removing huge number of personal injury cases from state funding and promoting conditional fee agreements for them instead, the government claims it can devote more resources to those cases which still need state funding, such as tenants’ claims against landlords, and direct more money towards suppliers free legal advice, such as Citizen’s Advise Bureaux. Another advantage is wider access to justice. The government believes that conditional fee agreements will allow many people to bring or defend cases who would not have been eligible for state funding and who could not previously have afforded to bring cases at their own expenses. As long as...
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