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Success Fee
Last updated: 06-Oct-2014

Motto & Ors v Trafigura Ltd & Anor (Rev 3) [2011] EWCA Civ 1150 per Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, MR. :

18. Before being added as parties to the proceedings, potential claimants had formally to instruct Leigh Day, and they all did so on a conditional fee (also known as a "no win no fee") basis, as permitted by the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 as amended by the Access to Justice act 1999 – i.e. if the claimant loses, the lawyer will recover no fees, and, if the claimant wins, the lawyer will claim fees, but they will almost always be paid by the defendants. The quid pro quo for lawyers who act on such a basis is that they can charge an "uplift" or "success fee", which is capped at a maximum of 100% of the lawyer’s ordinary or "base" fee, and the success fee is treated as part of the recoverable costs if the defendants are ordered to pay the claimant’s costs. Furthermore, to protect themselves against any liability to pay the defendants’ costs should the claim fail, most claimants who litigate on this basis take out ATE (after the event) insurance, and, if the claim succeeds, the premium for such insurance ("the ATE premium") can be recovered from the defendants as part of the claimant’s costs.

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