Managing the downside risk of dealing with a dispute, particularly if court proceedings are commenced, is also of paramount importance. This is because there is always a risk, no matter how small, of losing the case and the investment you have made in it, and being required to pay a proportion of your opponent’s costs.
We can advise you on a range of potential funding, risk sharing and insurance options, to help address these concerns. The options available will depend on the type of dispute you are involved in, and the forum best suited to resolving it, but can include;
- Standard, private paying arrangements, where you pay our fees and any expenses we incur on your behalf as the case progresses, on the basis of estimates or fixed fees, agreed with you in advance
- Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) where our fees are discounted in full or in part as the case proceeds. If the case is won, you then also pay us the amount of the reduction applied, plus a success fee. If the case is lost, you do not have to pay the discount applied to our fees, or any success fee; your liability for our fees is limited to what you have paid (if anything) along the way. You would still need to pay any expenses we incur on your behalf under a CFA, though, whether or not the case is successful
- After the event insurance (ATE Insurance), which protects you against the risk of having to pay your opponent’s legal costs if your claim is unsuccessful. Many ATE Insurance policies also include cover to reimburse you for any expenses you have incurred if the case is lost. ATE Insurance can sit alongside a CFA to significantly reduce the overall cost and risk of pursuing a claim. Some insurers will agree to defer all or part of the policy premium until the conclusion of the case, but the premiums can be expensive
- Third party funding schemes, where a professional funder will finance some or all of your fees and all of your expenses, including the cost of ATE Insurance, in exchange for a proportion of the recovery made. This type of scheme is only suitable if you are bringing a claim for financial compensation. We have partnered with Augusta Ventures (“Augusta”) to provide a virtually risk free litigation funding solution for our clients. For more information please scroll down
- Contingency fees, where you would not be charged our fees in full or in part if you lose, but if you are successful, our fees would amount to a percentage of what is recovered (plus any reduced fee we had agreed to charge as the case went along). Again, this type of arrangement is only suitable if you are seeking financial compensation, and unlike third party funding schemes, contingency fee arrangements cannot be used where court proceedings are issued.
Third party funding
We have partnered with Augusta Ventures to provide a virtually risk free litigation financing solution, to help businesses and individuals meet the cost of bringing claims for compensation.
Typically, your claim will need to have a value of at least £350,000, to ensure that you receive a large enough proportion of any damages to make taking the action worthwhile.
However, it can also apply to a portfolio of lower value claims that, collectively, have a value which make them economic to fund. The solution can provide funding to meet the cost of high value, complex and heavyweight litigation, too.
Most types of claims for damages are eligible to apply, except for personal injury or clinical negligence claims.
The starting point is the same as for any dispute – does your case have a good chance of success, and can the opponent afford to pay the amount of your claim and costs? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, litigation funding and costs insurance could be available.
If your case qualifies, we will work with Augusta to assess the different ways in which the funding can be structured.
- Typically, Augusta would be willing to fund all of your legal costs, including our fees, court fees, barrister’s fees and any expert’s fees, so you would not have to pay anything at all as the case proceeds
- Depending on the nature of the case, however, it may be preferable for you to make a small contribution to the case costs, and for us to put some of our fees at risk. In this scenario, we would work under a Partial Conditional Fee Agreement (PCFA) meaning that a percentage, say 60% of our fees, are paid as the case progresses and 40% are only paid if the case is successful
- Under this type of arrangement you would have to pay no more than half of the 60% PCFA fees as the case progresses. The other half would be paid by Augusta, as well as all of the other litigation costs, such as court fees, barrister’s fees, and expert’s fees
- In conjunction with Augusta, we will arrange insurance to cover your liability to pay the opponent’s costs, should the claim fail. Insurance can also be taken to cover any costs you have paid under a PCFA, if applicable
- If the claim is unsuccessful and you have complied with the insurance policy, the insurer would pay for any adverse costs and any PCFA fees you have paid, up to the limit of the cover. Provided you have complied with the funding agreement, you would not have to repay the funds that Augusta has provided
- This means that your overall costs risk would be limited to any uninsured amount of the opponent’s costs you are ordered to pay, and the uninsured amount of any PCFA fees you have paid, as opposed to the normal risk of having to pay all of your own costs and around 70% of the opponent’s costs
- If you are successful, the damages awarded at trial, or from any settlement sum negotiated, will be used to cover any deferred PCFA costs and all the costs of the litigation funding, including the success fee that applies under our PCFA, and to the funding Augusta has provided
- The exact percentages will vary from case to case, but Augusta aims to ensure that you will receive at least 50% of the net damages or settlement sum, as part of its eligibility assessment.
This form of litigation funding means that you can pursue a damages claim at a fraction of the usual upfront cost, and the downside risk of losing can be reduced to virtually nothing, or a very small percentage of the total costs of bringing the case.
It is intended, therefore, not just for claimants who cannot afford to meet the cost of pursuing a good claim, but also for those claimants who do not wish to put their own resources at risk.