In a bid to cut costs some leading UK barristers and chambers are increasing their use of conditional fee arrangements (CFAs).
Commonly regarded as ‘no win, no fee agreements’, an increasing number of UK barristers are using CFAs to take on cases at reduced rates, in return for a higher rate if the case is successful, Legal Week reports.
Leading UK law firm Addleshaw Goddard, a strong advocate of third-party litigation funding and after-the-event insurance, is in talks with top barristers and chambers including Brick Court, Fountain Court and Essex Court Chambers to encourage them to use CFAs.
Brick Court has already separately taken on seven cases on a CFA basis this year, while barristers at several other chambers are also thought to be seriously considering CFAs.
Addleshaws litigation head Simon Twigden said: “A big chunk of fees in significant litigation are taken up with counsel costs. There has been a general lack of understanding and fear among barristers that CFA equates to 'no win, no fee'. This stigma among the commercial sets is clearing, as litigation funding methods are increasingly in demand.”
He added: “More and more big names at the Bar are saying yes to a serious consideration of this. We increasingly factor this in when we make recommendations to our clients on which barristers to use.”
A number of UK law firms have increased the use of CFAs, and other alternative fee arrangements, since the economic downturn. In addition to CFAs, there is also growing momentum for chambers to move away from hourly rates through fixed fees and cost capping.