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12 No-win, No-fee Actions

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1. Introduction

2. The cost of taking legal action

Taking legal action can be expensive as well as stressful. If you have a problem or dispute with someone, you should first talk to your solicitor or adviser to consider the various ways of dealing with the problem. For example, there are conciliation and mediation services, which can be simpler than using the courts for sorting out disputes. See the CLS Direct leaflet 'Alternatives to Court' for more information.

If you do find that you need to use a solicitor, you should think about how you will pay for your case.

You may be able to get public funding through the Community Legal Service Fund (formerly called legal aid) to help pay for some cases. You can get this help only if you genuinely cannot afford to pay by yourself and only for certain types of case. The main type of case for which you cannot get public funding is a claim for a personal injury. For more information, contact the Community Legal Service (see 'The Community Legal Service').

If you do not qualify for money from the Community Legal Service Fund, there are other options to help you pay:

A no-win, no-fee agreement can help you pay your solicitor's costs, unless your case relates to a family dispute or it is a criminal matter. For information on dealing with the breakdown of a relationship, see the CLS Direct leaflets, 'Divorce and Separation' and 'Living Together and your Rights if you Separate'.

No-win, no-fee agreements are mostly used to pay for personal injury cases. See the CLS Direct leaflet, 'Personal Injury', for more information.

3. What does 'no-win, no-fee' mean?

4. How do I know what I will have to pay?

5. How can I make sure I don't have to pay a big bill if I lose?

6. How does legal-expenses insurance work?

7. Terms used in legal actions

8. Further Help

9. About this leaflet

This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Roger Bolt of Bolt Burdon Kemp.

Leaflet Version: October 2019

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