It is not uncommon for derogatory terms such as ‘greedy lawyers’ or ‘ambulance chasers’ to be bandied about by the tabloids when discussing lawyers who operate under Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA) or ‘no win no fee’ agreements as they are commonly referred to.
How fitting then that CFA were influential in the News Of The World’s downfall. The shocking case of the phone hacking of Milly Dowler plus hacking cases involving various celebrities dominate headlines and stick in the public consciousness for obvious reasons. Yet according to the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sue Akers there are up to 4000 people who have potential claims against UK papers for phone hacking. So not just actors and footballers then.
Many Phone Hacking Cases Made Under CFA
The majority of these cases would typically be funded under CFA. Yet if the government has its way with regards to reforming the justice bill many of these cases would be financially unviable and therefore justice would evade the victims. In short Ken Clarke wishes to abolish the rights of claimants to claim costly insurance fees and their own lawyers’ fees from their losing opponent instead suggesting that these monies should be taken from damages settlements.
This change will deter many individuals from bringing a compensation claim as many cases could prove to be unviable.Mark Lewis the commendable lawyer who has represented the family of Milly Dowler and countless other victims of phone hacking rightly states that ‘the real issue is about access to justice’.
NOTW Phone Hacking Scandal Reminder Of CFA Worth
The NOTW scandal an issue over which the public has been nigh on unanimous in its condemnation of the paper is a timely reminder of the worth of CFA. Without them the paper would still be in existence and the government should think long and hard before removing a tool which ensures all not just the privileged few can have access to justice.