Many people are daunted by the thought of having to engage a lawyer in fear of substantial legal costs being incurred which they may not be able to pay. With Brydens Lawyers there is no need for such concern.
For over 40 years now Brydens Lawyers has been operating a ‘No Win – No Fee”, policy which, simply put, provides that if a personal injury or compensation client is unsuccessful in their claim then Brydens Lawyers will not raise a tax invoice for having acted on behalf of the client. That is, if the claim is unsuccessful we do not get paid.
In that sense Brydens Lawyers are backing our judgment that the claim will be successful so that upon the successful completion of the proceedings the legal costs are paid. In the unlikely event that the judgment of Brydens Lawyers is wrong and the claim is unsuccessful then Brydens Lawyers will share in the loss.
In some circumstances Brydens Lawyers may be entitled to recover disbursements from a client who has unsuccessfully prosecuted a personal injury or compensation claim and there will also be circumstances were Brydens Lawyers would be able to recover costs from the client if unsuccessful in the action. These are very limited occurrences and usually pertain to clients whose claims are unsuccessful by reason of some failing on the part of the client to properly instruct Brydens Lawyers or alternatively have provided false and misleading instructions in the pursuit of their claims.
Upon receipt of instructions Brydens Lawyers will provide you with a detailed and informative cost agreement and other disclosure documents which will clearly set out the basis of the no win – no fee policy and the calculation of legal costs and expenses.
Calculation of Legal Costs
The cost agreement which is provided to you at the outset will set out the basis upon which costs are calculated. They are calculated by reference to the time involved in the investigation, presentation and prosecution of the matter. Various hourly rates are attributable to the solicitors and support staff engaged in the prosecution of the claim. In personal injury and compensation matters legal costs are not calculated in any way by reference to the value of the claim and the outcome of the proceedings. Legal costs are simply calculated by reference to the amount of time involved and the value of the work as actually undertaken by Brydens Lawyers.
Separate to professional fees which relate to the time involved in the investigation, presentation and prosecution of the matter, there are also other expenses incurred known as disbursements. These are expenses that are actually incurred by Brydens Lawyers on your behalf. They include things like court filing fees, expert report fees, medical report fees, agent fees and the like. Brydens Lawyers will attend to fund the claim by payment of these disbursements during the course of the proceedings. Upon the successful completion of the proceedings and the rendering of a tax invoice these disbursements will be detailed in the tax invoice and reimbursed to Brydens Lawyers from the proceeds of the claim.
Ordinarily if a party is successful in court action the court will order the other party to pay the successful party’s costs. In the case of a personal injury or compensation claim the defendant, usually an insurer, will be ordered to pay the client’s costs on the successful prosecution of the claim.
These are costs as between one party and the other. They are distinguished from the costs payable to the solicitor by the client which are called solicitor and client costs. The costs payable by the unsuccessful insurer are party/party costs and usually amount to about 75% or so of the actual solicitor and client costs as incurred by the client. These costs not only include professional costs for the work undertaken by Brydens Lawyers but also the disbursements incurred.
On the successful completion of a personal injury or compensation claim an assessment of the costs payable by the unsuccessful insurer is submitted and, usually following some negotiation, a resolution is reached for the costs payable by the unsuccessful insurer. In the event that we are unable to reach agreement with the insurer it is open to the client to have a formal bill prepared and submitted to the Supreme Court where a court appointed officer will determine what the unsuccessful insurer has to pay.
What if the Claim is Unsuccessful?
As stated above the court will ordinarily order that the successful party’s costs be paid by the unsuccessful party. This also applies if the claim brought by the injured person is unsuccessful. Then in those circumstances the court will ordinarily order that the injured person pay the costs of the successful insurer.
This is one of the risks of prosecuting any litigation claim. The success of the proceedings and can never be guaranteed but Brydens Lawyers has established a reputation second to none in prosecuting claims to successful conclusion in court. If for whatever reason Brydens Lawyers come to the view that the injured person’s personal injury or compensation claim does not enjoy reasonable prospects of success then Brydens Lawyers will, in accordance with their statutory obligations, inform the client accordingly and proceedings will either not be brought or resolved on the most favourable terms.
Brydens Lawyers success rate in prosecuting personal injury and compensation claims means that the chance of a client’s claim being unsuccessful is most unlikely and Brydens Lawyers will take every step available to ensure that any risk of the claim being unsuccessful and you being ordered to pay costs is minimised.