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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have been using a no win no fee lawyer for the last 24 months

Resolved Question:

I have been using a no win no fee lawyer for the last 24 months on a case involving a builder. The lawyer was also using an after the event insurance policy to cover all my financial risk. After a painful long period the lawyer has just announced that she is unprepared to continue on a no win or no fee basis due to the success rate dropping below 50%. She has said that i would have to pay to continue and that financial risk on this case is £20,000. As i do not have the funds to pay her nor take the financial risk the case can not continue, however I am concerned over the following points: -
1. She has mentioned that she will ask the other side if they are willing to walk away so that i am not responsible for their fees.
2. She has also mentioned something about asking the insurer to set aside the policy but has mentioned that i may be liable for barrister, legal expert and court fees
3. She is asking for my instruction to discontinue, however it is not my instruction, it is merely a result of a change in arrangement from the no win no fee.
So my queries are: -
1. How can i be responsible for the other sides fees if it did not go to court. And if the other side try and attempt to get fees from me, how does that work?
2. I have made it clear on numerous occasions that I would only proceed with the case if i had zero financial risk, so how can she mention i may have some costs?
3. Does my instruction to her to close the case put me in a different legal position as it seems she is closing the case due to not willing to continue with no win no fee, but strangely wants me to give an instruction which makes me nervous.
Many thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Why have prospects dropped please?

Customer:

Experts disagreed, I had two structural engineer reports that blame builder, however builder sent in another engineer who disagreed..... This report has been exposed to have many inaccuracies and is factually misleading.... However lawyer seems to think prospect has dropped!

Alex Watts : To answer your questions as you have asked
Alex Watts : 1) other sides costs - if proceedings have been issued in court, the process has started. If a claim is discontinued the rule is that the party discontinuing pays the other sides cost, that is the court rule. This applies even if the matter has not proceeded to a court hearing. Costs are clocked up as soon as proceedings are issued
Alex Watts : 2) There is never zero financial risk. Under the terms of your no win no fee they can terminate it if the prospects fall below 50%. There is never a guarantee you may not be liable for costs
Alex Watts : 3) no. However what you can do is see if there is a drop hands available. That is both sides just stop and pay their own costs. If this is available this may be the best option.
Alex Watts : I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
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