No win, no fee, no dough

Lawyers are not renowned as the world’s greatest gamblers, so we should probably applaud Addleshaw Goddard for taking a punt on the conditional fee arrangement (CFA) model.

Unfortunately for the firm, the gamble doesn’t quite appear to have paid off – yet. While most of AG’s competitors have benefited from the slim pickings available to them in the first half of 2009-10 to trumpet much improved half-year turnover figures, Addleshaws has just posted a four per cent drop (see story).

The result indicates that while no win, no fee might be the system du jour for the high street, it may not quite cut the mustard in the exalted environment of a top 20 law firm.

But the biggest roll of the dice is yet to happen, the firm has agreed a CFA deal with Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky on his multi-billion pound claim against Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich (see story).

However, before anyone starts thinking that lawyers have thrown caution to the wind, it should be noted that AG has taken out insurance against losing the case.

England might be thrashing the Aussies in the cricket, but the world hasn’t gone entirely topsy-turvy just yet.