What is the meaning of ‘no foal, no fee/no win, no fee’?

Many solicitors take on cases on a “no foal, no fee/no win, no fee” basis. This means that you will not be charged a fee by your solicitor if you do not win the case. This is most common in personal injuries cases.*

This phrase can be misleading in that it suggests that it suggests that there will be no costs incurred by the Injured Party/ Claimant in the event that the Claimant is not successful. However the Claimant may still be liable for the Defendant’s fees and the Claimant’s own medical expenses barrister’s fees, etc.

The advertisement by Solicitors of such no foal, no fee/no win, no fee fee arrangements are prohibited by the The Law Society of Ireland which is the governing body of Solicitors in Ireland.

Other expressions with the same or similar meaning are equally prohibited. Such expressions include ‘complimentary consultation’, ‘complimentary case evaluation’, ‘no bill until you win’, ‘our service won’t cost you a penny’, ‘we will fund your case’, and ‘a solicitor cannot advertise to act on a no-win, no-fee basis – however, solicitors can act on this basis – this can be discussed by phone, email or in a meeting’. The Law Society, a regulatory body, has forbidden the use of such expressions.

You can read more about the costs involved in making a claim here

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.