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10% charged on insurance award

How can I find out if my solicitor was paid his fee by the insurance company and was he entitled to take 10% of my award? Waterford listener. Please do not read out my name (supplied).

When a solicitor settles a case with an insurance company on the instructions of his or her client they receive two cheques – one is for the amount of the compensation and other is for agreed costs based on what is called party and party costs. These costs are the amount the insurance company must pay your solicitor for the minimum amount of work necessary to win your case and in may circumstances the insurance company will not pay the full amount of the solicitor’s fees or other outlay or expenditure because the work may go beyond the minimum amount. 

 

One thing is certain, and that is that a solicitor cannot charge on the basis of a percentage of an award. 

 

You are entitled to get full written details of the settlement including a copy of the cheque for the award and a copy of the costs cheque, because the legal costs legally belong to you but because you owe at least that amount to your solicitor he or she will retain that.  This is reflected in the fact that the costs cheque is usually payable to the solicitor. 

 

If you don’t get any satisfaction with this request of your solicitor, you are entitled to ask the Regulation Department of the Law Society of Ireland to investigate the matter and they will do so if you ask them – www.lawsociety.ie

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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