How We Charge
– No Win No Fee Lawyers
Polaris acts for all of our clients on a No Win No Fee basis.
How Does No Win No Fee Work?
- We start with a discussion free of charge so that we can take details from you about your injuries and the circumstances that caused your injuries. At this discussion we will tell you whether or not we can assist with your claim.
- If we can assist, we offer to act for you on a No Win No Fee This means that you do not need to pay for the work that the legal team does until you win your case and receive compensation.
- In some cases, there may be third party bills called “disbursements”, that we ask you to pay as the case goes along. These can include things like medical records and expert medicolegal reports. If you can’t afford to pay for these bills, we can discuss other ways for them to be funded to ensure that your case can progress.
- If you win your case, the defendant or insurer will pay the majority of the fees and bills, and you pay the “gap” between the total costs and the amount paid by the insurer.
- If you lose your case (and as long as you’ve complied with your agreement with us), you won’t be required to pay for our fees. Any bills (disbursements) you have paid for won’t be repaid to you.
- In the highly unlikely event that your case goes to court and is unsuccessful, you may be ordered to pay the costs of the other side. Your lawyer should update you every step of the way, and tell you if there is a risk that your case is likely to go to court.
Costs charged by personal injury lawyers in Victoria are regulated under the Legal Profession Uniform Law (LPUL). This sets out a number of rules for lawyers about how they charge.
It is important to understand that in Victoria, personal injury lawyers are not allowed to bill as a percentage of your total compensation. Taking a percentage of a person’s compensation is called a “contingency fee”. While these types of agreements are popular in the United States, contingency fee agreements are not allowed in Victorian personal injury cost agreements.
This can create some uncertainty for clients who want to know what percentage of their compensation they will need to pay in legal costs.
Instead, personal injury lawyers generally charge based on the Supreme Court scale of costs. This is a schedule written by the Court which is a guide to how each piece of work is costed and valued. It is updated annually.
At Polaris, we help overcome costs uncertainty by capping the amount that our clients are charged, and agreeing to waive our costs if the compensation amount is small. Our clients always keep the majority of their compensation, so that you know that the costs will not outweigh your compensation.
You can ask us about capped fees when you first meet with us.
A Polaris No Win No Fee agreement does not mean paying more than if you’d been billed monthly.
If you’ve pursued your claim under a No Win No Fee agreement and your case is unsuccessful, then the cost to you will be far less (or nothing at all) than if you had paid monthly bills to your lawyer.
If you win your case, the bill is no higher under a No Win No Fee agreement because Polaris is not charging an uplift or a loading on its fees.
At Polaris, we make good decisions about which claims we believe will be successful. This means we don’t need to charge extra to cover the costs of pursuing claims that are unsuccessful.
You may think, why would a law firm offer not to be paid for all that time if it didn’t mean more money for them eventually?
We work this way because we believe our clients have a reasonable chance of winning their cases, and because we understand that most people who have been injured are not in a financial position to pay for legal fees as they go.
Because we make good decisions about which claims we believe will be successful, we don’t need to send monthly bills or charge extra to cover the costs of pursuing claims that are unsuccessful.
How Does Polaris Compare to Other Firms?
Polaris is not going to be the cheapest law firm you can find to represent you in your claim. We
are expert injury lawyers, who aim to get you a great result as efficiently as possible.
We don’t seek to compete on price – instead focussing on expertise, personal service and great
If you go to the local lawyer who drafted your Will, they may offer you a cheaper price, but the
quality of the work and the outcome will reflect that cheaper price. It’s important to note that
every area of law is very different. It is in your best interests to select a lawyer who is an expert
in their field. At Polaris, we only work in personal injury compensation law. We would never
consider acting for you, for example, to do your Will or a complex employment law matter.
Compared with large personal injury law firms, Polaris’s costs will almost always be less, often by
20-30%. Let’s look at why this is:
|Caps the costs that you pay||Do not cap costs|
|Has a plain English cost agreement||Have complex agreements full of fine print|
|Does not charge an uplift or loading on fees||Charge 25% loading on their fees|
|Does not make you pay for more bills if you lose||Can make you pay for more bills if you lose|
|Waives its fees if your compensation is small||Do not agree to waive their costs for small matters|
|Invest in your legal team, don’t spend on advertising||Spend heavily on offices and advertising – pass costs on to customers|