Dream-on-96
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Hello,

Can anyone recommend a university disputes solicitor who offers a "no win no fee" service ?
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Dream-on-96)
Hello,

Can anyone recommend a university disputes solicitor who offers a "no win no fee" service ?
I don't think they are likely to exist. 'No win, no fee' relies on getting a substantial payout for things like lifelong disability, so is primarily a medical negligence type thing. You aren't going to get any massive financial recompense even if you do win a complaint about a university, and that's unlikely with an ombudsman scheme anyway. There is simply not a market/economic model for this.
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
I don't think they are likely to exist. 'No win, no fee' relies on getting a substantial payout for things like lifelong disability, so is primarily a medical negligence type thing. You aren't going to get any massive financial recompense even if you do win a complaint about a university, and that's unlikely with an ombudsman scheme anyway. There is simply not a market/economic model for this.
I'm afraid that's not correct. No win no fee relies on solicitors recovering their costs or an equivalent amount to cover the work that they have done. In County Court claims solicitors will recover their costs from the other side if the claim is successful and the claim is on the fast track or multi track (i.e. it is not a small claim), so the actual amount of damages recovered is not relevant providing it is enough for the claim to be put on the fast track, where you can recover your costs if you are successful. For that to be the case the injury needs to be worth £1,000 or more, which is roughly a 3 or 4 week whiplash. So it's not a medical negligence type thing, it's predominantly used in personal injury claims across the board (of which medical negligence claims are a small proportion). The payouts also do not need to be substantial providing the costs can be recovered.

I think your confusion has come from assuming that the solicitors only receive income in no win no fee claims from the proportion of damages that they take (which is normally 25%-35%). As above, in County Court claims that isn't right. In non costs bearing environments, such as the Employment Tribunal, you cannot as a matter of course recover your legal costs if you win, so in those types of cases the claim does need to be of a decent enough value such that the solicitor is confident of getting a decent enough fee if the claim succeeds. But even then, "lifelong disability" claims are worth hundreds of thousands or millions of pounds. A solicitor that as a 35% DBA (Damages Based Agreement) in an Employment Claim would probably only need the claim to be worth £10,000 in some cases to consider that a high enough value to run with. It would be on the low side, but it certainly wouldn't require claims of massive values like you're suggesting.

Furthermore, no win no fee claims are not just restricted to personal injury claims even in the county court. Professional negligence claims are also commonly funded by way of no win no fee (again, most are fast track claims), and discrimination claims are also often taken on a no win no fee basis. The situation with discrimination claims is different, as they technically need to be worth over £10,000 to be fast track claims by value alone, and very few are relatively speaking, but Claimant solicitors will argue that due to their complexity discrimination claims should be on the fast track anyway, and if they succeed in that argument then that is their route to recovering their costs. Practically any fast track claim could be funded by way of no win no fee, though it's only common in certain areas. Contract claims, for example, are rarely funded that way.

So yeah, no win no fee is available in all types of claims in all types of jurisdictions, and certainly not just in very high value medical negligence claims.

However, whether or not the OP can source one depends very much what they mean by "university disputes". There is no such thing as "university disputes" law, and that could mean anything. Is it a discrimination claim? A contract claim? A personal injury claim? A disciplinary matter? There are solicitors out there who deal with disputes involving educational bodies and education law more broadly, and even if it falls outside of the remit of education law there will inevitably be a solicitor somewhere who has the relevant specialism. Whether or not that solicitor will take the claim on a no win no fee agreement depends very much on what the claim is, and how likely they are to be able to recover a fee at the end of it (including whether or not the claim is a good one). I can give you some guidance on that if you tell us, even in brief detail, what the claim is about.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Crazy Jamie)
I'm afraid that's not correct. No win no fee relies on solicitors recovering their costs or an equivalent amount to cover the work that they have done. In County Court claims solicitors will recover their costs from the other side if the claim is successful and the claim is on the fast track or multi track (i.e. it is not a small claim), so the actual amount of damages recovered is not relevant providing it is enough for the claim to be put on the fast track, where you can recover your costs if you are successful. For that to be the case the injury needs to be worth £1,000 or more, which is roughly a 3 or 4 week whiplash. So it's not a medical negligence type thing, it's predominantly used in personal injury claims across the board (of which medical negligence claims are a small proportion). The payouts also do not need to be substantial providing the costs can be recovered.

I think your confusion has come from assuming that the solicitors only receive income in no win no fee claims from the proportion of damages that they take (which is normally 25%-35%). As above, in County Court claims that isn't right. In non costs bearing environments, such as the Employment Tribunal, you cannot as a matter of course recover your legal costs if you win, so in those types of cases the claim does need to be of a decent enough value such that the solicitor is confident of getting a decent enough fee if the claim succeeds. But even then, "lifelong disability" claims are worth hundreds of thousands or millions of pounds. A solicitor that as a 35% DBA (Damages Based Agreement) in an Employment Claim would probably only need the claim to be worth £10,000 in some cases to consider that a high enough value to run with. It would be on the low side, but it certainly wouldn't require claims of massive values like you're suggesting.

Furthermore, no win no fee claims are not just restricted to personal injury claims even in the county court. Professional negligence claims are also commonly funded by way of no win no fee (again, most are fast track claims), and discrimination claims are also often taken on a no win no fee basis. The situation with discrimination claims is different, as they technically need to be worth over £10,000 to be fast track claims by value alone, and very few are relatively speaking, but Claimant solicitors will argue that due to their complexity discrimination claims should be on the fast track anyway, and if they succeed in that argument then that is their route to recovering their costs. Practically any fast track claim could be funded by way of no win no fee, though it's only common in certain areas. Contract claims, for example, are rarely funded that way.

So yeah, no win no fee is available in all types of claims in all types of jurisdictions, and certainly not just in very high value medical negligence claims.

However, whether or not the OP can source one depends very much what they mean by "university disputes". There is no such thing as "university disputes" law, and that could mean anything. Is it a discrimination claim? A contract claim? A personal injury claim? A disciplinary matter? There are solicitors out there who deal with disputes involving educational bodies and education law more broadly, and even if it falls outside of the remit of education law there will inevitably be a solicitor somewhere who has the relevant specialism. Whether or not that solicitor will take the claim on a no win no fee agreement depends very much on what the claim is, and how likely they are to be able to recover a fee at the end of it (including whether or not the claim is a good one). I can give you some guidance on that if you tell us, even in brief detail, what the claim is about.
Thanks for the in-depth clarification.
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Dream-on-96
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#5
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Thanks for the comments I have found a firm to help me with the complaints procedure - alpha academic appeals. Not a "no win no fee" firm but the prices are fixed so I know what I am paying.
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