The Chancery Bar Association (CBA) has redrafted its conditional fee arrangement (CFA) rules in an effort to save time and to save clients' money
Less contentious elements of CFA contracts will no longer have to be subject to renegotiation during each case as they have become standardised into an all-embracing new set of terms and conditions. Peter Griffiths, a member of the CBA's conditional fee subcommittee, and a barrister at 4 Stone Buildings, said: "It should make the process much quicker as it will involve less time renegotiating the terms of the CFA. The risk is still there, but the amount of effort in drafting it afresh is less." Commenting on the risks, he said: "A substantial sum may turn on a minor breach of the regulations. If you breach the CFA regulations then you can find you've entered into an unlawful agreement so you can't recover your fees. There are cases where solicitors have entered into CFA agreements where other sides say they are illegal." Elements of a CFA not subject to the CBA's rule changes relate to the terms in which counsel are entitled to a payment uplift and the nature of relief sought.