“No foal, no fee” – what does it mean?

Very often you’ll hear people mention the phrase “no win, no fee” or “no foal, no fee” when they talk about their claim for personal injuries or any other claim that they might be making.

“No foal, no fee” means that if your case is unsuccessful then your solicitor will not charge any legal fee.  If however, your case is successful then fees will be applied.  This counts whether your case is settled or you win in a courtroom setting.

An agreement on a “no foal, no fee” basis can be something that will put your mind at rest about whether or not you should bring a claim in the first place.  One of the main things that people worry about when they are considering making a claim for personal injuries is whether or not they will be able to afford to take it or whether the legal fees will be too high.  Removing the question of costs allows you to think about bringing a claim on its own merits.  This does not mean, however, that you should bring any claim whatsoever!  You should always listen to your solicitor’s advice and any decision to proceed should only be made on the understanding that you have a good chance of succeeding.  Anything less would be a waste of everyone’s time.

What should you know about “no foal, no fee” claims?

Firstly, it is entirely legal to enter into this kind of arrangement with your solicitor.  While you can do that on a private basis, by law your solicitor is not allowed to advertise that they will agree to act for you in this way and if you see this advertised on a solicitor’s firm then it’s probably a good bet that you should avoid them as the rule against using this kind of advertisement is well known among the legal profession.

It’s important that you discuss the agreement fully with your solicitor so that you know exactly what is involved and there are no disagreements down the line.

Sometimes your solicitor will agree to forego their own fee if your case is unsuccessful, but they will still expect you to pay for the outlay expended eg fees for medical reports, engineers’ reports etc.  Your should also bear in mind that even if you lose your case and do not have to pay your own solicitor’s fees, it could be the case that costs might be awarded against you in a courtroom setting ie you could be ordered to pay the fees of the other party’s solicitor and this will be the case regardless of whether you have come to any kind of agreement with your own legal team.

“No win, no fee” agreements are certainly something to consider when discussing your claim with your solicitor.  If they are not happy to proceed on this basis, then you might be able to come to some lesser agreement that would still allow you to move forward with the solicitor of your choice while not having to be overly concerned about legal fees.

If you would like to discuss making a claim for personal injuries, then complete the form below and we’ll get in touch.


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

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