Caps on fees

contingency fees

Personal injury (PI) lawyers should be able to claim up to a quarter of a claimant’s damages, no matter how much the court awards, according to Civil Justice Council (CJC) proposals on contingency fees. 

A CJC working party report on damages-based agreements (DBAs) – also known as contingency fees – called for: no limit on the damages from which a contingency fee can be taken in PI cases; contingency fees be extended to civil litigation generally; one set of regulations for all DBAs; and a consistent regulatory approach to DBAs and conditional fee agreements to avoid “costs wars”.

It said PI cases should be capped at 25%, employment cases at 35%, but was divided on on commercial cases – most favoured no cap while others wanted a cap of 50%, particularly for consumer or small business claims.