Conditional fee agreements entered into from 1 April 2013: an overview

This note gives an overview of the different questions and issues which can arise when considering entering into a conditional fee agreement (CFA). It applies to CFAs entered into on or after 1 April 2013, with a few exceptions (the excepted cases). It explains what a CFA is and the requirements for creating a valid CFA. It concludes with a section on the implications of CFAs for law firms, their clients and other parties, and a troubleshooting section.

Note that: On 1 April 2013, the majority of the Jackson/civil litigation reforms came into force. As a result of these changes, where a CFA is entered into on or after 1 April 2013, any success fee under that CFA will no longer be recoverable from the other side, save in the excepted cases.

For an overview of CFAs entered into before 1 April 2013 and in relation to the excepted cases, see Practice note, Conditional fee agreements entered into before 1 April 2013 and in the excepted cases: an overview.

Note: This resource is under review in light of the decision in Ultimate Products Ltd and another v Woolley and another [2014] EWHC 2706 (see Legal update, Denton applied: Failure to serve notice of new CFA is not a serious or significant breach (High Court)).

PLC Dispute Resolution in association with Alexander Hutton QC, Hailsham Chambers


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