No win no fee is a pretty common payment option for legal services. Like with most things it comes with its pros and cons; its main advantage is that this payment method is accessible to anyone with a case to make, regardless of how much money they have to fund it. However, as a no win no fee system of payment depends upon a financial windfall at the end of the case (from which the legal team will take a cut), it isn’t particularly suited to criminal defences.
No win no fee has a number of pros and cons. A great example of this is how little of a relationship the money a legal team can make off of a win has to how much work they’ve put into getting success. This has the potential to be both a pro and a con, such as how a legal team might only put 3 hours work into a case but receive 20% of their client’s settlement fee/award of £10,000, or on the other side of the coin; they might put 30 hours into it and end up footing their own bill.
Of course this second option generally doesn’t happen, with most cases of there being a disproportionate fee from the legal team being in the lawyer’s favour. A great example of common no win no fee schemes where this is almost always the case is with PPI claims. If you’ve gone through the process of claiming yourself (with no win no fee lawyers), then you’re probably familiar with the amount of work you have to put in, which is almost exactly the same as what you have to put into doing it yourself, with the one difference being that it is either you or your lawyers writing a letter to the bank. People have, by signing up with a PPI firm, essentially agreed to give them up to thousands of pounds for a couple of hours work, which most of them are more than able to do it themselves.
Perhaps this is presenting the no win no fee system in a bad light, after all it is only a single use for it. They also come to fore with class action suits, where a number of claimants join their claims together so that they can pool their legal representation. If you’re a fan of movies based on legal matters, Erin Brokovich may come to mind for this (based upon a true story); it is a pretty accurate representation of how no win no fee can be beneficial, and well worth the watch too.