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Has the time come for contingency fees?

Is it time to head straight for contingency fees without passing through the intermediary stage of fixed recoverable costs in non-personal injury work, asks Kerry Underwood

24 May 2016

Virtually all personal injury work is now done on a contingency fee basis as solicitors cap the enforceable element of solicitor and own client costs and the success fee to a fixed percentage, still generally
25 per cent, although 30 to 40 per cent is becoming common in many firms and cases.

District Judge Lumb made obiter criticism of contingency fees - and me - in A (1) & M (2) v Royal Mail Group [2015] EW MISC B24 (CC) when he suggested that a 100 per cent success fee with a 25 per cent cap in damages in each case was disturbing and 'dangerously close to a contingency fee, which may
be unlawful.'

'Contingency' is certainly
the 'c word' as far as many lawyers and judges are concerned.

However, the Court of Appeal took a very different view in Broadhurst v Tan and Taylor v Smith [2016] EWCA Civ 94 (23 February...

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