Inheritance claims – can you recover ‘no win, no fee’ legal costs?

An adult child with complex mental health issues has succeeded in an inheritance claim against her late Father’s estate for reasonable financial provision, despite being estranged from her parents.

After much deliberation, the daughter was awarded £138,000 (approximately 25% of the estate), which valued at £554,000.

The Judge declined to make an award to buy a new house for the daughter.  This was on grounds of the mother’s ongoing care needs, and the fact that the daughter was estranged from her parents.  The parents had only partially contributed to her living costs for four years.

The £138,000 included figures for on-going psychiatric care, shortfall in income against outgoings, rental deposit, new white goods, and replacement of a dilapidated car. Part of the award was to cover part of the uplift of the Conditional Fee Agreement (sometimes called no win no fee) that the daughter was liable to pay her solicitors for succeeding in the case.  This is the third case where this issue has been considered recently.

Conditional Fee Agreements

A Conditional Fee Agreement (“CFA”) is an arrangement between you and your solicitor, agreeing to share the risk of litigation by offsetting the initial legal costs. Part, or sometimes all of the solicitor’s fees will only be payable by you in the event of success and can be recovered from the other side. However, even upon success, the ability to recover costs from the other side can sometimes be difficult, and is something that anyone who agrees to a CFA, should be aware of.

It is important to factor in that the mother was disbarred from the proceedings due to failure to comply with previous court orders.  She was in ailing health in a care home, but had some substantial assets to meet future care needs (at least £413,000).  Whilst the Judge was careful to protect her position, it’s important to remember that this judgement was made with no argument to assist the mother.

Inheritance act claims are becoming more and more commonplace. If you feel that you are entitled to a sum from an estate, or would like to discuss your options when pursuing a claim, contact Parrott & Coals Solicitors today on 01296 318 500 or email