What is a No Win No Fee Employment Lawyer?

Alex Tree

A no win no fee employment lawyer works on a contingent fee and provides law services to people with employment-related issues. Working on a contingent fee means the lawyer does not collect payment unless the services render a favorable outcome for the client. The laws surrounding this type of payment vary between jurisdictions, with some restrictions to prevent abuse. A no win no fee employment lawyer might deal with sexual harassment in the workplace, wrongful termination, and a plethora of other employment legal issues. Whatever the legal issue, however, these lawyers usually do not take on difficult or time-consuming cases that may not pay off, nor do they offer free appeals.

Some lawyers are willing to file a lawsuit on a contingency basis, meaning they are only paid if their clients win.
Some lawyers are willing to file a lawsuit on a contingency basis, meaning they are only paid if their clients win.

In many jurisdictions, a no win no fee employment lawyer must ask a certain percentage or less of the damages paid to his or her client if the case is won. For example, if the local law states that no more than 50 percent of the damages can be claimed by the lawyer, the lawyer can ask for 50 percent or less. Some places state that the lawyer cannot ask for more than 100 percent of the damages, but most lawyers do not ask for nearly that much. In addition, it is often outright illegal or considered inappropriate to offer a lawyer 100 percent of the damages. By not claiming any of the damages for herself, the client is usually seeking to raise awareness of the legal issue or punish the other party.

A no-win no-fee employment lawyer may take on a sexual harassment case.
A no-win no-fee employment lawyer may take on a sexual harassment case.

A no win no fee employment lawyer might be hired for any number of reasons. Sexual harassment, wrongful or unexplained termination, or disability discrimination are just some reasons a person might seek legal recourse. Typically, these lawyers deal only with employment issues rather than issues regarding family, criminal, or estate complaints.

Generally, a no win no fee employment lawyer is sought because the client does not have money upfront to pay for a lawyer who bills regardless of whether the case is won. While no win no fee employment lawyers are an advantage in this regard, they usually do not take on cases that do not seem profitable. For example, if it is clear that the potential client’s case will be a time-consuming, expensive legal battle that does not stand a good chance of winning, a no win no fee employment lawyer will usually decline the case. Likewise, such a lawyer will likely refuse to appeal a case he lost unless the odds of winning the appeal seem in his favor.

A no win no fee employment lawyer will usually not take on a case that won't pay off.
A no win no fee employment lawyer will usually not take on a case that won't pay off.

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Discussion Comments

Markerrag

@Logicfest -- if an attorney turns down your case, don't get discouraged. Get a second opinion. It might be that the attorney is inexperienced or only wants to take the easiest cases possible. Another attorney might find you have a good case, so shop around some before you give up.

Logicfest

And that's where people get furious -- when an attorney declines to take a case. Here's the thing -- a lawyer who takes on a contingency case is investing his or her time or money into it. If an attorney tells you that you have no case, then the chances are good you don't have one.

It is important to point that out because a lot of people believe they have been wronged when they bring an employment case to an attorney. That might be true, but there is a big difference between morally wrong and legally wrong. An act can be morally wrong without being legally wrong and the legal violation is the one worth money.

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