Funding your case
It can be expensive to take legal action and it is important to consider how the case should be paid at an early point.
The legal costs of litigation can be met in a variety of ways:
1. Self-funding: the claimants pay their own way, agreeing in advance how the costs of the case should be divided between them;
2. Third-party funding: alternatively, the group enters into an agreement with 'third party funders', who will finance the legal costs of the case in exchange for a share of the winnings if the case settles or wins at trial;
3. Damages Based Agreement: this is an arrangement whereby the solicitors are not paid unless there is a successful outcome, in which case they receive a pre-agreed percentage of the money recovered; and
4. Conditional Fee Agreement: this is an arrangement whereby the solicitors reduce their bills during the course of the case by a percentage (up to 100%) upon condition that if the claim succeeds, they should be paid back the reduction on their fees plus a success fee.
These options can be used in conjunction with one another. For example, the HSL team has experience of acting for groups of claimants where some self-fund and some use third-party funding; equally, we might agree to act on a conditional fee agreement by which we reduce our charges by 30% during the course of the case while the remaining 70% is met by a third-party funder.
The team at HSL is well-known in the litigation funding world and has a good track record for obtaining third party funding in appropriate cases.
We only use reputable firms whom we trust and we prefer to use funders who are members of the Association of Litigation Funders and subscribe to its voluntary code of conduct (which, requires its members to maintain sufficient money to meet their funding obligations and regulates the circumstances in which funding can be withdrawn).
No litigation proceeds without risk. The normal rule in cases brought in England and Wales is that if you lose a case you should pay the other side's reasonable legal costs. This risk can be insured using specialist insurance called 'ATE Insurance'. We have good relationships with the leading brokers in this market and we are well known to the major underwriters.
Third party funders will not generally fund a case unless there is insurance in place.
How HSL can help
In many group actions, third-party funding and ATE insurance are essential pre-requisites to bringing a claim. We will advise you on the prospects of achieving funding and insurance and, in the appropriate case, we may be able to defer our fees until funding is obtained.
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