A moped rider has won a landmark court battle with a ‘no win, no fee’ legal firm who charged her £1,780 for 우리카지노총판 her successful £1,530 compensation claim – and which could now spark ‘£2.5billion’ of similar actions.
The new ruling came after accident victim Darya Belsner, 32, took her case – launched after she was charged more than she won – to the High Court.
Ms Belsner suffered cuts and bruises after being knocked off a moped by a car while riding pillion back in February 2016.
She instructed no win, no fee law firm CAM Legal Services – trading under the name Scooters and Bikes Legal – to claim for compensation and she was awarded £1,531.48.
But the solicitors took a total of £1,783.19 which included their fixed costs, 오바마카지노먹튀 a success fee, 샌즈카지노먹튀 disbursements and VAT.
The success fee amounted to £385.50.
Finding herself out of pocket Ms Belsner hired new lawyers to challenge the bill.
The case was heard in Sheffield District Registry of the High Court in July 2018 but initially found against her.
Undeterred, her lawyer appealed the ruling and at the High Court at Leeds Mr Justice Lavender found CAM should have properly explained their charges might be more than she could recover from the compensation bid.
Ms Belsner, 32, of London, said today: ‘It seems strange to think that my case could create millions of claims.
‘It was pretty much impossible to understand the charges particularly because no one sat me down to explain it in simple terms; especially as I was a person who was still in shock with what had happened with the accident.’
The ruling means solicitors now must be able to prove clients were told at the outset what their likely costs were going to be and how much could be recovered from the opposing party.
Ms Belsner will also now get £295.50 paid back to her.
It sets a legal precedent, a fact recognised by the two legal firms involved spending nearly £90,000 combined in arguing over the £385 success fee.
Legal costs analyst Mark Carlisle, 메리트카지노총판 of
‘It will create millions of claims against them for overcharging and will turn this into the next PPI.
Legal costs analyst Mark Carlisle whose CheckMyLegalFees.com firm acted for Ms Belsner
‘For too long legal firms have been using these complicated success fee models that their clients have not had properly explained and do not understand. This was why it was so important that we won this case and create a legal precedent.
‘No win, no fee law firms that have their fees challenged can no longer go to court and argue about their individual billing models because the judge has ruled if the solicitors can’t prove the client understood what they were being charged and how much of that they would get back from the other side, then the solicitors will need to make a repayment.
‘We very conservatively estimate in total these claims will be at least £2.5 billion
‘Government statistics show that there are an average of around 770,000 road traffic accident personal injury cases per year, an average of about 87,500 personal injury cases from accidents at work per year and 93,5000 personal injury accidents that arise from public liability accidents per year.
‘With these claims for overcharging stretching back to 2013- when the law around conditional fee agreements changed- and the average pay out likely to be £750 it could mean the total claims would be worth nearer £5billion.’
The legal principle on which Mr Lavender made his ruling was one of fiduciary duty which means solicitors have a duty to act in the best interests of their client.
Mr Justice Lavender commented: ‘No doubt similar issues could arise in many other cases. Consequently, the parties appear to attach considerable importance to this appeal.
‘According to their statements of costs, the Claimant and the Defendant have spent £52,575.63 and £35,139.70 respectively on this appeal. That is a total of £87,715.53, which is over 225 times the amount of £385.50 originally at issue.’