Conditional fee agreements—assignment of a CFA
Conditional fee agreements—assignment of a CFA

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Conditional fee agreements—assignment of a CFA
  • What is an assignment?
  • Authorities in relation to assignment of CFAs
  • Can a CFA be assigned?
  • Development of the law in this area
  • Timing of the assignment
  • Practical considerations

There are a variety of reasons why assignment of a conditional fee agreement (CFA) may be required. Where an assignment has taken place, paying parties will frequently challenge the validity of that assignment. It is therefore important to have an understanding of whether a CFA has in fact been assigned—in some cases it may be that a novation has taken place instead.

What is an assignment?

An assignment is an agreement between an original party to a contract, known as the assignor, and a new party known as the assignee. It does not require the agreement of the other original party to the contract.

The assignment does not create any new rights, rather it transfers the existing rights under a contract from one party, the assignor, to a new party, the assignee, who can enforce the rights without the consent of the original party. When considering assignment of CFAs this has arisen when dealing with the transfer of rights from an old firm of solicitors to a new firm of solicitors so that the CFA continues.

Note: that any valid legal assignment by definition must comply with the relevant provisions of section 136 of the Law of Property Act 1925 which requires a properly drafted deed of assignment and notification of that assignment to the client.

For detailed information on assignment of a contract,