It is is a widely held belief that an injured worker (the Claimant) will be charged a certain percentage ( i.e. 25 %) of the settlement sum by their representing lawyer(s) after a common law case has reached settlement [and with a no win no fee structure.]. Some injured workers even believe that their lawyers will take a certain percentage of their lumpsum. This is NOT true! (At least not in Vic)
Will you be charged a percentage of your compensation payouts?NO!
However, If your case is taken on a “no win no fee” basis then your [hopefully] hard-working lawyer(s) is/ are entitled to charge an additional fee which is a percentage of the costs (and not the settlement amount – compensation awarded).
In Victoria a lawyer is NEVER allowed to charge a percentage of the settlement sum.
If your lawyer tells you this is what is “done”, then you should immediately make a complaint to the Law Institute of Victoria.
For example, if, at the closure of your case, your lawyer were to say to you: ” Workcovervictim, we’ve settled your case for $400,000. We are thus charging you 25% of the settlement sum, so your bill is $100,000″, then this is illegal.
If -on the other hand- your lawyer says: “Workcovervictim, we’ve settled your case for $400,000. We have done $44,000 worth of work and can charge you an additional 25% of the $44,000 on top. So your bill is $54,000″, then this is reasonable and acceptable.
[Post dictated by WCV and manually inserted on behalf of WCV who remains incapacitated and under medical treatment]