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Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) explained


The conditional fee agreement (or ‘CFA’) is a funding agreement between client and solicitor where the fees are determined on the outcome of the case. When damages are awarded in a case CFAs were introduced after cuts were made to legal aid and are primarily used in personal injury cases. 

What are the different types of CFA?

A typical fee agreement is the ‘no win no fee’ arrangements where the solicitor will not be paid anything unless the case is won. The solicitor will then take a percentage of that award. 

Variations of the CFA agreement include:

  • Discounted CFA – the solicitor will receive a smaller percentage of his fees if the case is lost, but will recover the full fees if the case is won.
  • CFA Lite – the solicitor uses a no win no fee or discounted CFA, but any success fee is capped

Advantages and disadvantages of CFAs

The main attraction of a CFA agreement is that the costs are only payable if the case is won. There will however, often be upfront costs as solicitors will often seek the advice of a barrister on the prospects of the case before they agree to act on a CFA. Additionally, as the risk of costs under a CFA is shifted from the client to the solicitor, it is likely that the solicitor will only take if there are very good prospects of success.

When can a CFA be used?

CFAs are available to everyone, regardless of means. It is completely at the discretion of the solicitor when a CFA can be used. Most will have strict guidelines within the firm as to when it is appropriate to use a CFA. They are usually used by the claimant, although the defendant is also able to use a CFA.

Call our experienced solicitors in Manchester 0161 820 8888 or call 0208 889 8888 for our solicitors in London. We will happily provide a free 30-minute consultation on your matter. Give us a call today!


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