Litigants using conditional fee arrangements to fund legal advice have a poor understanding of the agreements with their solicitors, the University of Westminster has found.

Researcher Stella Yarrow said: "We found conditional fees are problematic because they are so complex. Clients also do not understand the nature of solicitors' financial interest in conditional fee cases. There have been concerns that solicitors in conditional cases might be tempted to give biased advice. For example, they might advise a client to accept a low settlement to ensure they receive their own fees."

The University made a number of recommendations to ensure conditional fees are more clearly sold. These include: a fact sheet explaining how to make claims and making it standard for insurers to have two meetings with clients to ensure they understand the finer points of the arrangements.