Friday, September 30, 2005
Should Conditional Fee Arrangements Be Allowed to Continue in the UK? Read Edgar Forbes' Discussion in the Media Guardian
Edgar Forbes discusses the public policy implications of the Conditional Fee Arrangement, a recent(2000) innovation in UK law, which allows plaintiffs to pursue defamation cases that would otherwise look like no-win situations. Says Forbes, "What CFAs are doing is distorting the rules of engagement. While one would not want to deprive altruistic lawyers from receiving remuneration for their goodwill if their client's claim, or defence, is successful, the levels of such "success fees" have caused much consternation among media lawyers. The Law Society provides a sliding scale of fees but no accompanying method for measuring how these should be applied. So it may come as no surprise that lawyers operating under these agreements go for the full 100% uplift. Apply this to fee and success fee and to solicitor and counsel and you soon get a bill that bears disproportionate resemblance to the risk it is meant to be compensating for." Read more here.