This can never happen. The lawyer on a no win no fee basis takes their fees out of the settlement moneys you receive on the settlement of your claim.
If your compensation claim is successful, and provided your claim is over about $70,000, then you will recover from the responsible party insurer standard costs and outlays.
That means your lawyer will have an independent cost assessor assess their file and calculate the standard professional fees your lawyer can claim for working on your file and the outlays that can be recovered against the responsible party.
Generally, all medical reports fees are recoverable and a portion of a Barrister’s fees that may be engaged on your behalf will also by the insurer.
There is always a gap between the standard costs and outlays recovered from the Insurer and the solicitor and clients costs charged by your lawyer.
This gap comes out of the settlement moneys.
There is always a protection for a client in that a lawyer can never charge more than 50% of the settlement moneys after deduction of refunds to Centrelink, medicare, etc. and outlays, even if the lawyer has done more work than the value of the 50%.