Who pays the costs if I lose a no win, no fee claim?


With Smith's Lawyers, there are no circumstances in which our clients can be left out of pocket and we will absorb all costs if a claim is not successful.  'No Win, No Fee, No Catch' was created as many 'no win, no fee' agreements have conditions which could leave clients out of pocket such as having to pay the other side's legal costs if the case goes to court and is unsuccessful. All claims with Smith's Lawyers are risk-free and have no upfront costs.

Potential costs with some 'no win, no fee' law firms if you lose your claim

Most personal injury claims in Queensland are run on a so called 'no win, no fee' basis which means you don't pay your appointment law firm legal fees unless they are successful in securing you compensation.

  • You do not have to pay your lawyer's professional fees.
  • However, with some firms, you may have to pay for the outlays (disbursements) that your lawyer incurred in pursuing your case. These are costs that your lawyer paid to third parties on your behalf, such as court filing fees, medical reports they obtained as part of the case, expert witness fees, and barrister's fees.
  • You may be liable for the other side's legal costs if unsuccessful in court. If your personal injury claim is unsuccessful in the court, you, the claimant, may often be required to shoulder the legal costs of the defending party (at-fault parties insurance companies legal costs). These agreements, also known as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), primarily cover your representative's legal fees. However, they often do not extend to the court costs and the legal expenses of the opposing side.

Things to check when choosing a 'no win, no fee' lawyer

  • Make sure that you understand what is defined as a "successful outcome" in the agreement.
  • Ask your lawyer to explain the different types of outlays that you may be liable for.
  • Ask if there are circumstances in which you could be left out of pocket.
  • Find out if there is a cap on the amount of outlays that you will be liable for.

Smith’s Lawyers client agreements are risk free with our ‘No Win. No Fee. No Catch’ promise. In this guarantee, if your case goes to court and isn't successful, you'll not be asked to pay either your legal fees or the legal costs of the other side. Smith's Lawyers pledge to absorb these expenses, thus effectively shielding you from any financial risk associated with your claim.

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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