How our Legal Fees work

How are our legal fees dealt with if the court makes a decision

Usually a court will Award a successful claimant a share of the estate, plus “his costs”, which is another way of saying that the Estate/Defendant must make a contribution towards the claimant’s legal fees.

Courts will rarely order the Estate/Defendant to pay all of a successful claimant’s actual legal fees. Usually the successful claimant gets back about 60% of their actual legal fees, and they need to make up the shortfall from anything else they got from the estate/defendant, or from their own pocket.

The total of the “Award” granted by the court, plus any contribution towards the claimant’s legal fees, is called the claimant’s “Settlement Monies” in this site.

With CWPL’s CFA, you cannot lose by commencing your will contest / challenge.

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With a Traditional Law Firm, some claimants can lose money, even if their will contest/challenge was successful

Traditional Law firms rarely guarantee that a claimant will ever recover anything from their will contest/challenge.

The claimant could end up making a loss, even though his case was “successful”, if the total amount payable by the Estate/Defendant did not cover his legal fees.

It is no wonder that many people give up their inheritance rights, even though they have a good case, because they cannot risk a loss.

CWPL is NOT a traditional law firm. Under our No Win No Fee Plan, in the unlikely event that the value of the Settlement Monies and the costs payable by the Estate/Defendant did not cover our fees, we would reduce our account so our customer could not be out of pocket.

With CWPL’s CFA, you cannot lose by commencing your will contest/challenge.

How legal fees are dealt with if we settle at mediation

If your will contest/challenge is settled at mediation, you will be paid Settlement Monies in return for your withdrawing your claim, and the Settlement Monies will include an amount that the Estate/Defendant has offered to pay as a contribution towards your legal fees.

Sometimes the Estate/Defendant agrees to pay one “all up” figure, which is both a payment of a share of the estate plus the Estate/Defendant’s contribution towards your legal fees. This is called an “all in” settlement. In other instances, an amount is paid to settle the claim, and the legal fees are paid as an extra, on what is called a “plus costs” basis. The total paid is called the “Settlement Monies” in this site.

Whichever way, with CWPL, once we take our legal fees from the Settlement Monies, you get the rest.

In the unlikely event that the value of your Settlement Monies did not cover our legal fees, we would reduce our fees so you could not be out of pocket.

We would advise you whether or not we believe that each offer is sufficient, and you would not need to accept a settlement offer unless it was satisfactory to you.

We would advise you whether or not we believe that each offer is sufficient.

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Beware: if your will contest/challenge is not strong, you may need to pay the estate/defendant’s legal fees from your own pocket

We are required by law to tell you that if the court found that a claim had little or no merit, the court is entitled to order that a claimant should pay not only their own legal fees, but also the legal fees incurred by the Estate/Defendant.

Everyone commencing a will contest/challenge must be sure that their case is strong enough, to reduce the risk of having to pay all of the costs from his own pocket.

CWPL is not a traditional law firm. Before we commence any application in court, we always conduct a Formal Assessment.

We will only advise a customer to commence a claim if we consider that there is little risk that our customer would need to pay any of the Estate/Defendant’s legal fees.

However, just in case some unexpected problem came up, and your claim unexpectedly turned out to be weak after all, so long as you had taken our advice to take out “after the event insurance”, the policy should cover any fees you had to pay to the Estate/Defendant. We would often pay any shortfall, but you should check with us to see if this arrangement will apply to you, as we only offer to cover a shortfall on a case-by-case basis.

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