Are there risks to “no win, no fee” lawyers?


After an accident, the last thing you want is the stress of legal fees without the assurance of a positive outcome. This is where the "No Win, No Fee" model can be attractive, but it's crucial to understand the potential risks and how to make an informed decision when choosing a lawyer. Smith's Lawyers, a leading personal injury compensation firm in Queensland, is committed to making this process transparent and risk-free for their clients.

Potential Risks of No Win, No Fee Agreements

Risk 1: Paying the Other Side's Costs

Typically, "No Win, No Fee" agreements carry the risk of having to pay the other side’s legal fees if your case is unsuccessful. These costs can be substantial, leaving you worse off than before you made a claim.

The Queensland Law Society states that "Generally, use 'no win, no fee' or similar expressions, without qualification, is likely to be misleading or deceptive, and so would be a breach of rule 36 of the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules 2012 (Qld) ('ASCR') unless at the time of advertising you intend to indemnify any unsuccessful client against payment of costs to any other party and the client is not required to pay disbursements."

Smith's Lawyers agree the term 'no win, no fee' is often misleading which is why we made our promise truly risk free, like it should be.

Risk 2: Out-of-Pocket Charges for Medical Reports

Some firms will require you to cover the costs of medical reports and other expenses necessary for your case, regardless of the outcome. These out-of-pocket charges can add up quickly.

Making an Informed Decision: Questions to Ask No Win, No Fee Lawyers

Question 1: What Happens if I Lose the Case?

It’s important to ask what your financial obligations will be if you don't win your case. While some firms may cover the costs, others might not, potentially leaving you with a hefty bill.

Question 2: Are There Any Upfront Fees or Costs?

Understanding whether you will need to pay anything upfront is crucial. Some lawyers might require initial payments for various services such as specialist medical reports to be paid upfront, which could affect your decision.

Smith's Lawyers: A Risk-Free Promise

Smith's Lawyers stand out with our "No Win, No Fee, No Catch®" promise. We were the first law firm in Queensland to offer a 100% risk-free guarantee. Here’s how we address the common concerns:

  • If you lose your case, Smith’s Lawyers ensure you won’t pay a cent to them or anyone else, even the other side’s legal fees.
  • We don't have any upfront fees or hidden costs.
  • In our 25+ year history, we have never had a client left out of pocket.

We offer free initial advice, and pride themselves on their straightforward and risk-free approach.

Last updated:
February 22, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.

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