This article was prepared by David Law of Annecto Legal.
Uncertainty is always a challenge for any business owner, and we are now entering one of the most uncertain periods in modern global economic history. As much as at any time, clients will be keen to retain cash and keep any unplanned expenditure to an absolute minimum.
Of course, this will not stop disputes from arising – but it will have huge impacts on how they are resolved.
Solicitors that successfully solve the risk and cash-flow problems around dispute resolution will be far more successful in helping their clients, as well as giving themselves a major competitive advantage over those lawyers that fail to provide clients with options.
Having handy access to a full range of insurance, risk management and funding options for clients gives you the ability to pursue the best route for resolving disputes, rather than being constrained by limited resources.
There are numerous products available to help maximise inter partes costs recovery, to affordably finance issue fees, disbursement costs or the entire legal budget, and to insure either adverse costs risk, own costs risk, or both.
Whether a client needs some certainty around fees, or a completely ‘free’ package to pursue litigation, there are various options available that can defer all costs to a successful outcome in the case.
There is no reason why dispute resolution practices need to take on more risk in order to assist clients – Most products are designed to shift risk away from both the client and their solicitor, and onto the balance sheet of a major insurer of finance house that is better equipped to carry and manage such risks.
Of course, transferring risk has a price and one of the real skills in this market is assisting clients in shifting the maximum risk for the least possible cost. If done currently, the clients can significantly improve their net position by improving their settlement odds considerably without incurring large fees for funding and insurance.
How often have you heard that litigation funding is expensive, without ever actually considering the real costs of litigation for the client? Or the costs on a dispute resolution team of not being able to help clients (or potentially even being negligent in their approach to retainers, funding and insurance?).
Often, there’s a sensible, staged approach that can be taken which allows the client to pursue their case effectively, the legal team to be paid their fees, and the opponent to be put on the back foot, without great expense.
Is it worth a few minutes to discuss an ongoing case that has cash flow problems, or a potential new instruction where the client should be able to make an informed choice about their options?
Annecto Legal is a broker for litigation funding and insurance, capable of providing a clear range of options for clients either prior to embarking upon litigation, or where cash has become tight and the litigation can no longer be properly pursued without assistance.