LAWYERS will be entitled to work on a “no win no fee” basis within months if plans put to Parliament are approved.

The scheme will establish conditional fee agreements for personal injury and insolvency cases and those before the European Court of Human Rights and European Commission.

In successful cases lawyers will be entitled to uplift fees, to a level agreed between clients and lawyers before settlement, by a maximum of 100 per cent.

Lord Mackay's decision to go ahead with the plan is welcomed by Law Society president Charles Elly who says: “Many people are at present unable to bring a personal injury case, however strong it is, because they do not qualify for legal aid yet cannot afford to pay the cost of litigation themselves.”

But the scheme has its opponents. Clive Boxer, partner at City firm Davies Arnold Cooper, says courts will be buried under a “myriad of dubious, speculative personal injury actions”.

The Lord Chancellor's advisory committee on education and conduct has also expressed its concern about the scheme.