Contingency Fees: An American Future?

My Modern Law Review Article on the impact of contingency fees is out, based on two of my previous reports on a telephone interviews with employment law specialists, and employment claimants as well as an analysis of available date on employment tribunals it shows that there has not, contrary to popular belief, been an explosion of employment claims associated with contingency fees.  Partly this is because the proportion of claims brought under a contingency fee in employment tribunals is very low (between 7 and 11% of all claims issued on the best available data) but the quality of claims brought (in terms of the merits of the cases) is not poorer than the quality of claims brought using other fundnig mechanisms.  As such contingency fees, used alongside other forms of fudning, promote access to justice rather than create a detrimental explosion.  The article also discusses the vexed topic of equal pay claims.  Even there there is no evidence that the quality of claims brought by contingency fee lawyers was poorer than the quality of claims brought by other funders.  Indeed, it is arguable that contingency fee lawyers have exposed significant injustice, by trade unions and local authorities in their treatment of low paid women.

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About Richard Moorhead

Director of the Centre for Ethics and Law and Professor of Law and Professional Ethics at the Faculty of Laws, University College London with an interest in teaching and research on the legal ethics, the professions, legal aid, access to justice and the courts.
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