Davies Lavery has broken new ground with a collective conditional fees agreement (CCFA) service.
The firm believes that it is the first to offer a 'no win, no fee' setup for bulk claims. Conditional fee agreements (CFAs) have become part of the way in which law firms conduct personal injury claims. Philip West, managing partner at Davies Lavery, said that his firm could see no reason why similar arrangements should not be offered to his insurance clients on a high-volume basis. Regulations permitting the introduction of CCFAs came into force in December last year. Davies Lavery argued that these new mechanisms will prove popular among organisations which generate a significant amount of contentious work. West said that the system was suited to its traditional insurance client base. He argued: "CCFAs will help our clients reduce the cost of pursuing individual cases and will simplify the legal process. Although individual cases must still be reviewed and require written assessments, the burden of administration is far less onerous." West added that a number of existing and potential clients had expressed their interest in the scheme. The firm handles a lot of property-related insurance claims, such as damage resulting from fire or flood. In many cases, the insurance company will pay out to its claimant and then seek to recover its losses from the person responsible for the incident. West said that there was often considerable sums locked into these recovery files. Davies Lavery would offer to take on these recovery cases, assess which were worth pursuing and then instigate a claim. Monies recovered would be passed on to the insurer and Davies Lavery would take a success fee, as the firm runs the risk of having to writeoff unsuccessful recoveries. West said: "The big challenge for lawyers is that they don't get paid until there's a recovery. This is one issue of legal practice that marks the end of hourly bills."