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No win no fee personal injury solicitors

The term “no win, no fee” is often used in personal injury cases. In fact it’s probably hard to find a personal injury advert that doesn’t contain those words somewhere.

But in real terms, what does “no win, no fee” actually mean for you and your case?

This simple but important advice page aims to provide you with a clearer understanding of:

  • how ‘no win, no fee’ works
  • how ‘no win, no fee’ affects you and your personal injury compensation
  • how ‘no win, no fee’ affects Digby Brown

By addressing these points, we hope it will answer your questions, provide greater transparency about how Digby Brown operates and give you the information you need to have peace of mind and make informed decisions.

How do ‘no win, no fee’ claims work?

In most personal injury cases an insurance company will be the defender or ‘the other side’. They are the ones that pay your compensation. 

It is their overriding priority to offer you as little as possible to save money. This means it is common for there to be a dispute between both sides about how much compensation should be paid to the affected people. The argument about who was at fault is a separate issue and for a lot of cases is fairly clear cut.

To fully understand what level of personal injury compensation is fair and appropriate we need to investigate. Such an approach then requires significant financial backing.

To achieve this and secure access to justice for thousands of people every year, Digby Brown has its own funding company called Compensate which provides the funding for all of this. 

This money pays for:

  • crucial pieces of evidence like police reports, access to medical records or expert opinions.
  • covers the legal costs required to, if necessary, raise a court action. The court action is how we make the defender engage in the process, in most cases the case won’t ever go into court. 

With so many things to pay for it’s easy to see why legal costs quickly build up – sometimes costing many thousands of pounds.

What happens if you lose your case?

Win or lose, you will never need to pay us back a single penny for these costs.  The only condition where this could be affected is if you have been dishonest in what you have told us and have refused to follow our advice. 

What types of personal injury claims can you make on a no win no fee basis?

No win no fee agreements can be used in the majority of personal injury cases including:

How much will I pay for Digby Brown’s help?

Having a personal injury claim with Digby Brown is not like instructing a solicitor in other areas of law. 

You do not pay us an hourly rate like you would with a property, commercial or family lawyer. We earn our wages via success fees. 
A success fees is a one-off payment capped at 20%* (this includes VAT) which is deducted from compensation if your claim is successful. 

So for example, if we get you £10,000 in compensation then our success fee means we retain £2,000 for the work we did and you keep £8,000. It’s as simple as that. 

*There are exceptions to success fee percentage relating to specific case types. These are cases which require significant and long-term time investment. This would be explained to you when you first approached Digby Brown for help.

Who pays the legal fees?

The costs associated with your case – like court fees or gathering medical reports – are classed as legal expenses.

If we win the case then we recover these costs from the other side who has to pay us back as part of the settlement.

And if for any reason your case is unsuccessful then Compensate pays all your legal fees and those of your opponent – you pay nothing.

The reason we can commit to a no win, no fee pledge is simple – the expertise of our staff and our track record for success is so well documented that it gives us the confidence to operate in this way.

However, we do lose cases and we wouldn’t be doing our job properly if occasionally we didn’t.

This isn’t because our personal injury lawyers are bad at their job - it is because the law isn’t black and white and it can be interpreted by different solicitors in different ways. That is why we have courts and that is why judges are there, to decide who is right.

For all the cases which we investigate significantly but for many reasons cannot win, cases where there just isn’t enough evidence to prove that someone else was at fault, cases that we believe should be compensated but the court has a different opinion – that is part of how laws are made and challenged. All of these examples cost time and money and without the success fee we would not be able to do this as well as we can.

We believe taking a percentage of your success fee allows us to do our job properly. We also know that the amount of compensation we recover for you is usually significantly more than the amount you would have received even with our success fee taken off.

Don’t take our word for it, just read many of the court decisions and case studies on our website, or watch Joanne's story.

Is Compensate ‘no win now fee’ funding really that simple?


But if you want a clearer picture of how ‘no win, no fee’ works in relation to the full process in legal terms…

Digby Brown will carry out an initial investigation into the circumstances of your accident. If they consider that your claim has reasonable prospects of success, the papers will be referred to Compensate who will carry out a separate assessment of the case.

That contract will provide that, in exchange for a percentage of your damages, payable at the end of the case, Compensate will fund your case throughout, paying all outlays for medical records, expert witnesses and other expenses incurred, as well as giving you complete protection in relation to the expenses of the court action.

Compensate will take out a legal expenses insurance policy, in their name and at their expense, to give you guaranteed peace of mind.

Digby Brown will then be instructed to proceed with your claim. Many accident victims are forced to accept inadequate out of court settlements because they, or the legal firm representing them, cannot afford to take the wrongdoer to court.

With the Compensate indemnity and funding package, you can negotiate from a position of strength. If a satisfactory settlement cannot be obtained, your case can be pursued through the courts - with no financial risk to you.

If you have any questions about the way your case is funded - do not hesitate to ask.

What to look out for when considering ‘no win, no fee’ personal injury claims

The success of the no win, no fee Compensate funding means Digby Brown's success rate is extremely high.

On average our clients receive significantly higher compensation award than the initial offer from the other side before we raise a court action – we know that when someone tries to deal with a case themselves or instructs a local lawyer, who has no experience of personal injury cases, that on average we achieve over five times the offer on the table.

Insurance companies and their defending solicitors know that when Digby Brown take on a case we won’t go away, we won’t agree a figure which is too low, in our expert opinion and we will go to court, if necessary.

Sadly, we’ve heard stories of people being made to pay thousands of pounds in legal expenses after their claim was unsuccessful with another firm. In other cases, we’ve learned other companies did not fully investigate cases as a way to keep legal costs down. 
And in others, people have been encouraged to accept compensation offers for far less than their true value because their original claims handler didn’t want to take any risks by raising a court action.

So if you are considering another firm or a claims agency, remember to ask some key questions:

  • How do they fund the case?
  • What medical expertise will they seek to bolster your case?
  • How do they actually know what the case is worth and therefore how do they know that the offer from the other side is acceptable?
  • And finally, are they prepared to litigate (go to court) to ensure you get the compensation you deserve?

You also need to be aware of compensation offers which may be too good to be true such as the adverts that promise that you’ll keep 100% of any compensation.

You need to ask yourself – “How does such a company make their money if they don’t charge you anything?”. This is important is because if a company doesn’t recover money via something like a success fee then what incentive do they have to properly investigate your case and ensure you receive fair damages? Getting something for nothing is not usually the sign of a quality service.

You also need to be aware of English firms because they may not have jurisdiction in Scotland. This means if there is a dispute over the value of your compensation then you’ll never be able to take it to court and win your case – and therefore open yourself to having a case under-settled, or dropped altogether.

No win no fee injury claims… no regrets!

Digby Brown Solicitors has been working in Scotland for well over 100 years, we are one of the oldest law firms still successfully trading today.

We know that people are suspicious of the term “no win, no fee” however it has been around for many, many years as a way of people accessing legal services and therefore justice without having to fund or the ability to fund it themselves.

We will explain everything before you agree to allow Digby Brown to help.

No win no fee solicitors Scotland

We have offices across Scotland in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Aberdeen and Ayr.

For further information about a no win no fee accident claim, or anything else, please get in touch.

0333 200 5926

Monday to Friday: 8am - 8pm 
Saturday and Sunday: 12pm - 4pm

(Please note, local rate, even from mobile)

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