Insofar as CFAs are concerned, the maximum success fee in PI claims is to be 25% of general damages and pecuniary loss (other than future pecuniary loss) at first instance and 100% in all other proceedings. As predicted, the changes will not have retrospective effect, so CFAs entered into before 1 April 2013 will not be affected by the changes. The changes do not affect publication and privacy proceedings or certain insolvency matters.
Turning to DBAs, a DBA must identify the claim, proceedings or parts of proceedings to which it relates, the circumstances in which the fee becomes payable and the reason for setting the amount of the payment at the level agreed. We anticipate most practitioners - particularly those who remember the fallout from the CFA Regulations 2000 - will be grateful for the brevity of the Regulations governing the form and content of a DBA.
If the DBA relates to a PI matter, the level of the fee must not exceed 25% of general damages and pecuniary loss (other than future pecuniary loss). In all other proceedings, the level of the fee must not exceed 50% of the sums ultimately recovered.
Additional duties are placed on legal representatives who act under DBAs in employment matters, and those duties are outlined at Reg 5 of the DBA Regulations.