Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer: What is the 50/50 Rule in Queensland?

Picture of Tina Veivers

Tina Veivers


Tina is the director of the firm and a lawyer who has 20 years of experience running and managing compensation claims for Plaintiffs. In contrast to the industry standard of larger compensation firms, Tina is a strong believer in ensuring that plaintiffs receive the vast majority of any settlement payout they do receive and will often reduce fees to ensure this occurs. In her spare time, Tina enjoys going to the beach and enjoying time with her family.

In this week’s “Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer” – where we answer common questions clients have about personal injury matters – we discuss the 50/50 rule in Queensland.

An essential regulation for personal injury law in Queensland, the 50/50 rule was designed to protect clients from excessive legal fees.

Concern over legal costs is quite common and given the numerous ways that fees can be charged, this is understandable.

In this piece, we’re going to help you understand the 50/50 rule and when this is relevant to you – that way, you know what you’re up against when dealing with personal injury claims.

What is the 50/50 Rule?

The 50/50 rule is a key regulation in Queensland’s personal injury law that limits the amount personal injury lawyers can charge.

It guarantees that clients receive at least 50% of their settlement or judgment amount after legal fees and disbursements are deducted.

This rule applies to various personal injury claims, including workers compensation claims, car accident claims, and public liability claims.

How Does the 50/50 Rule Affect Legal Fees?

Under the 50/50 rule, personal injury lawyers must structure their fee agreements to comply with this regulation.

There are various ways that a personal injury lawyer can structure their fees, with the most common being:

  • no win, no fee agreement – based on a percentage of the overall compensation received or the actual work done on the case.
  • fixed fees – based on milestones or work completed.
  • hourly rates – based on the time spent working on the case.

No matter the fee structure your lawyer has, if your claim is successful, your lawyer’s fees, including uplift fees and other costs, cannot exceed half of your total compensation.

This ensures that clients receive a fair share of their settlement amount and helps manage the overall financial risk associated with personal injury claims.

Exceptions to the 50/50 Rule

While the 50/50 rule generally applies, there are some exceptions. For instance, if you agree to pay disbursements or statutory refunds from your own pocket, these costs are not included in the 50% cap.

Additionally, some complex cases involving significant court fees, barrister’s fees, or extensive medical reports may have different arrangements. It’s crucial to review the costs agreement carefully and seek independent legal advice to fully understand your obligations.

Why is the 50/50 Rule Important for Clients?

The 50/50 rule is vital for clients as it promotes transparency and fairness in legal fee structures.

By limiting lawyer’s fees, it reduces financial risk and ensures you retain a significant portion of your compensation.

This rule also encourages law firms to manage their costs effectively, ultimately benefiting clients. At South East Injury Lawyers, we are no win no fee personal injury lawyers and we charge based on work completed. We also adjust our fees based on the compensation that was awarded to ensure our clients receive the maximum compensation possible.

Tips for Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

When selecting a personal injury lawyer, it’s essential to understand their fee structures. Ask about their fee agreements, uplift fees, and any potential hidden fees. Ensure their costs agreement is clear and that they have answered any questions you have thoroughly. Seek independent legal advice if you have any doubts about the fee arrangements.

How South East Injury Lawyers Can Help

At South East Injury Lawyers, we passionately believe that your financial situation should not be an obstacle to receiving compensation that you are entitled to, which is why we offer our services on a no win no fee basis.

Whether you’ve been injured in a public place, at work, or in a motor vehicle accident, if you’re in Queensland, discuss your situation with us. We’ll review your case and let you know the next steps.

Book a consultation here.

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with expert advice from a leading compensation lawyer today.

If you’ve been hurt, you need to act fast. Get started immediately with expert advice from a leading compensation lawyer today.

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