A conditional fee agreement or CFA is an understanding between parties, usually an advocate and a client, that the former’s collection of fees is contingent/dependent upon the case being settled in their favor. In most jurisdictions the same is valid only if the case involved civil or administrative matters, not in criminal cases. CFA’s may or may not involve a cost draftsman, but in the U.K. or anywhere within the jurisdiction of English and Wales statutes the same is regulated.
In this jurisdiction CFE’s with or without the aid of cost draftsman is scrutinized by the courts. Logic dictates that the same is in order to protect the client. However I believe that it is also for the elevation of the bar. This is because added transparency and regulation is always good for the legal profession.
Cancellation of Contracts
A contract is defined as a voluntary agreement or meeting of the minds between parties. In its most general sense anything that is voluntarily agreed upon can be subject to a contract. However the law regulates contracts by reason of public policy. One instance of regulation is known as the Cancellation of Contracts Statues.
As a general rule, there are 3 instances wherein a contract can be cancelled by the client. The rationale is simple, to allow a client to “cool off” and rationally think over his/her part in the contract. This cooling off period lasts 7 days from the moment notice of the right to cancel is given to the client by the advocate.
1. Contracts made in the home or workplace of the client, or the home of a third person. Regardless of who called for the meeting, the general rule is that the client is given 7 days to revoke the contract.
2. Contracts made in an excursion organized by the advocate or cost draftsman and the same is outside the normal work premises of the same.
3. Contract agreed upon by the advocate after a visit to the home, or an excursion as mentioned in number 2.
Exception to the Rule
Certain exceptions apply, particularly if the agreement is entered by a highly knowledgeable client such as another lawyer, doctor, professional, etc. This is because the law seeks to prevent one party from entering into a contract without fully understanding the consequences of the same. If the circumstances show that the client had full understanding then the cancellation of contract is not allowed.
Andrew Simon is an expert who provides professional costing services with years of expertise. With his supervision Cumberland Costings, a leading firm with team of highly professional costs lawyers and law costs draftsmen has given a new direction to costing process. Together with his team he has set remarkable standards of delivering superior services to their clients.
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By: Andrew Simon
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