If you are successful in a claim against the Police for a civil wrong, you are to be put back in the position that you were before this happened. The main awards applicable to you in a successful Police claim include a liability finding in your favour, financial compensation and payment of your legal costs too. A liability finding in your favour, either by admission by the Police or finding by the Court, means that you have won your case and usually the payment of financial compensation and your legal costs is made. By paying you financial compensation whether with a liability finding in your favour or not, the Police acknowledge the harm they have caused you as a result of what happened. As well these awards, the Police could agree to a written apology, changes in Police training, or the amendment/deletion of Police records. For many claimants an apology would be worth more than financial compensation but it is sadly rare that the Police agree to this.
If we believe that your case has prospects of succeeding, we will offer funding terms to you and if agreed then your fight against the Police can begin. At Irvings Law, there are various ways within which you can fund your Police claim such as:
Conditional Fee (“no win no fee”) Agreements
If we consider that your case meets our prospects criteria, we will offer you ‘no win, no fee’ terms. The main advantage with funding your Police claim in this way is that you will not have to pay our legal fees during the lifetime your case (even if you lose) should you follow our agreement terms in relation to your conduct. In no uncertain terms, this means that if you don’t win your case, we do not get paid.
Due to this risk of working for you under ‘no win, no fee’ terms, we can take what is called a “success fee” out of the compensation that you eventually receive in the event of a successful outcome. Our “success fee” is calculated through our basic charges and you pay it out of the money that you recover when you win your case so that you are never out-of-pocket. At Irvings Law, we limit our “success fee” to 25% of the compensation that you receive so it is guaranteed that you will receive at least 75% of the compensation that we recover for you. We say “at least 75%” because we may reduce our “success fee” down (in some cases to nil) in circumstances where we can recover all of our costs incurred from the Police.
The only disadvantage with funding your Police claim in this way is that if you lose at Court and you are unable to obtain insurance, you may have to pay the Police’s fees and your own “disbursements” (experts’ fees, court fees etc). We will explain these risk fully if the need arises to issue court proceedings.
“Private Client” Basis
Where the prospects of success are good we will always be willing to offer ‘no win no fee’ terms.
We may also be willing to act for you on a private basis which means that you pay our charges on an hourly rate basis. We will provide you with the best estimate we can of likely overall costs but as a guide these would usually exceed £10,000 and on claims proceeding to trial would be significantly higher. You would also pay, win or lose, the costs of any barrister, expert or court fees required for your claim.
However you would not pay any success fee out of your damages if the claim is won.
“Before the Event” insurance is cover that you already have in place (usually through a Legal Expenses add-on to your trade union, car, home and pet insurance policies entered into before the incident arising from your Police claim happened) which can be utilised. If available and authorised, this insurance will provide you with cover for your own legal costs, disbursements and the Police’s fees up to certain limits; there will also be no “success fee” deducted from any compensation that is awarded to you too. However, this insurance very rarely applies in Police claims because these are excluded from policies and even if available, insurers often decline to cover you as these claims are perceived to be hard to win. If you are concerned about being liable for the Police’s costs if your claim is lost, we can help with trying to locate “After the Event” insurance to try and cover this risk at the appropriate stage of your proceedings. Unfortunately this cover can be hard to find and expensive.
At Irvings Law, we do not offer Legal Aid. In some circumstances Legal Aid is available for actions against the police claims and you would need to contact a law firm with a legal aid contract in that area to discuss eligibility.