Misconceptions of Conditional Fee Arrangements (No Win No Fee) suing the police

The legal system is a minefield of rules and pitfalls. Often a case that appears to be a ‘no-brainer’, fails in Court due to incorrect assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of the case.

I am often asked for help with legal cases. I am not a Solicitor but am very experienced in the legal system due to bitter experience.

When I fell foul of Lancashire police for naming one of the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS), they decided to prosecute me. Not only did they try to prosecute me, they tried to chuck the book at me an failed miserably,

I brought a Civil Claim against them via DPP Law, in Liverpool and sued their arses for £35,000.

I have since this time sued them on two more occasions. On one occasion, DS Andy Langton provided private and confidential information about our 13-year-old son to Paul Turner, the aforementioned CHIS (police snitch).

Paul Turner, the police informant, then published this private information on the internet to cause alarm and distress to a child. Of course, Lancashire police did not prosecute Paul Turner as he is a juicy snitch.

Lancashire police tried to defend their actions, the ICO said it was one of the most serious data breaches they had seen against a child. The IOPC directed a misconduct hearing against DS Langton, but Lancashire police simply REFUSED.

DPP Law sued Lancashire police for £11,250.

On a 3rd occasion, DPP Law sued Lancashire police for £2,000 for an unlawful arrest by DC Harrison. DC Harrison later went on to give falsified evidence in a court in what is believed to be conspired with senior officers.

At total of £48,250 in compensation for damages at the hands of Lancashire police.

These are the successes, but, if the truth be known, there have been several cases that could not be brought. Not because Lancashire police did not commit offences (Criminal or Civil), but because the circumstances surrounding the claims were either not supported but sufficient evidence or simply because of other factors.

In my early experiences, I knew nothing about the law and many of the atrocious things the police did to me, I was convinced they would be prosecuted criminal and sued in the civil courts, but I painfully realised that my understanding of the legal system was minimal did not factor in the many elements of the law that I would need to circumvent the challenges to get a judgement in my favour.

What is a Conditional Fee Arrangement? (CFE)

A CFE is more commonly referred to as No Win, No Fee.

What this means to you (as the claimant), you do not have to pay the solicitor any money to bring the claim.  If the claim is not successful, you simply walk away and pay nothing. The Solicitor foots the bill. (see note 1)

If your claim is successful, you get your compensation. It is normal that the solicitors take a percentage of your compensation (normally around 20%-25%). This is to cover the risk they took in bringing it.

The solicitors then recover (or attempt to recover) their overall costs from the respondent (the body you are suing) and if they fail, you do not pay any extra.

Why won’t a solicitor take on my case

Given the information above, you can see that for a solicitor to take on a case, there is a real risk that the Solicitor can lose money (and lots of it).

To pursue your claim (for you), the Solicitors must spend significant time doing the following (not an exhaustive list)

  • Speaking to the claimant to get initial information.
  • Contact the necessary authorities for disclosure, CCTV, police logs, and detention logs etc.
  • Pay for disbursements such as medical examinations or clinical assessments.
  • Writing to the respondent with a detailed head of claim.
  • Further discussing with the claimant further validating the head of claim.
  • Dealing with a response from the respondent, interpreting it to the claimant and making any counter arguments
  • Instructing a barrister on your behalf and seeking barrister advice.
  • Further discussing with the claimant
  • Handling PArt 36 offers.
  • Case management
  • Issuing proceedings
  • Attendance at trial.

As I say, this is not an exhaustive list, but it gives an idea of what is involved. It is not a case of writing a letter and asking for money or ‘i’ll take you to court’.

Solicitors’ fees are in the region of £200 – £300 per hour. You will think that is a lot, it is to your everyday job, but the Solicitor chose his/her career, and that is their prerogative.  Yo and I could have chosen this career path, so we cannot criticise them for this. There are many other professions with higher salaries.

Solicitors (especially good ones) have many prospective clients. They may have a choice from dozens of cases sent to them daily or weekly.

Put yourself in their shoes if you had a job where you can pick your work, would you pick the work that you feel may lose you money, ot would you choose the work that you know you will get paid? Imagine a car mechanic who has dozens of customers 50% want brake pads replacing, the other 50% want complex engine repairs. To the mechanic, the brake pads are simple and the chance of a failure is minimal, whereas, the complex engine repair could take much longer than expected and could have warranty failures.

In my experience, one of the biggest issues is the first contact with the solicitor and getting your claim across to them in a clear and concise manner.

Remember, and this is important, Solicitors are normal people who go to work, the earn a wage, to pay their own day to day living.

While not true of all solicitors, not all are ‘overly concerned’ for you, the

 

 

 

(note 1)
You may be liable for costs if the case gets to trial and is lost unless you have after-the-event insurance.

 

 

 

 

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