Section 58(2)(b) of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, as amended by section 27 of the Access to Justice Act 1999, (the 1990 Act) defines a success fee in the following way:
“a conditional fee agreement provides for a success fee if it provides for the amount of any fees to which it applies to be increased, in specified circumstances, above the amount which would be payable if it were not payable only in specified circumstances.”
A success fee is an additional amount payable for the legal services, over and above the amount which would normally be payable if there was no CFA, in specified circumstances (usually if you, the client, wins the case). The amount which would normally be payable if there was no CFA is often referred to as the law firm’s base costs.
A success fee must be expressed as a percentage uplift on the amount which would be payable if there was no CFA. Under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2000 the maximum uplift is 100%.