While it all seems like a distant memory now, 2012 was an important year for all things litigation funding.
Here are a few of TheJudge’s key highlights from the last 12 months:
THEJUDGE PREDICTS NEW ENTRANTS TO THIRD PARTY FUNDING MARKET
In January 2012, TheJudge predicted that the third party litigation funding industry would become very competitive with new entrants joining an already relatively busy market (see story). It turns out we were right; many new entrants came into the marketplace in 2012 making TheJudge’s role as the world’s largest broker of third party funding all the more important – we help your clients navigate through what is becoming an increasingly confusing maze of options.
FIRST YEAR OF ALF
Many would argue that selecting a funder is assisted by the Association of Litigation Funders (‘ALF’) which, in 2012, experienced its first full year in operation. With its members now up to 14 (including TheJudge as a broker member), it’s fair to say that ALF does assist when it comes to understanding how credible funders are but, as was raised by the audience at TheJudge’s Litigation Funding Panel Debate evenings in November, do solicitors or their clients really care about a funder’s membership to a non-mandatory association?
INSURANCE SOLUTION DEEMED ADEQUATE SECURITY FOR COSTS
In a currently unreported case, the reasonableness of a Bond or Deed of Indemnity as adequate security for costs was challenged by an opponent. Ultimately, the challenge concluded with the Court deciding that a Bond is in fact adequate security for costs. This type of instrument enables Claimants (or counter-claiming Defendants) to pursue the claim without fear of being strangled out of the litigation by a deep pocketed defendant, and without huge upfront cost or a slice of the damages being taken by a litigation funder in return for putting cash into court.
QI FUNDING SERVICE – QUICK RESPONSES FOR ALL!
TheJudge launches its QI Funding Service (see story) enabling clients to benefit from quick indications as to the likely terms of any funding agreement, from several markets. This means it’s possible to quickly identify the most competitive terms without having to commit to lengthy exclusivity periods prior to understanding how the deal would be structured.
CONN3CT FUNDING SERVICE – LOW COST FUNDING NOW AVAILABLE
TheJudge launches its Conn3ct Funding Service (see story) meaning that clients with small to medium sized disputes can now access third party funding options which historically haven’t been accessible due to the high price of capital.
PANEL DEBATES A SUCCESS!
TheJudge hosted a series of Panel Debates on the issues surrounding both Litigation Funding and ATE insurance, in October and November 2012. The events were very well attended, with over 150 delegates present. To discuss the outcome of those debates, including the hot topics of discussion, contact one of our team below.
KEY POINTERS FOR 2013
LASPO IS COMING
We’re getting geared up for implementation of the LASPO Act in April 2013 (despite opposition from the likes of John Prescott who referred to the second part of the LASPO Bill as “nothing less than a cack-handed attempt to change the legal system to benefit large corporates when they are being sued” in February this year (see story) meaning that CFA success fees and ATE insurance premiums will no longer be recoverable from the losing party, with the exception of insolvency litigation where recoverable ATE premiums and CFA success fees are set to remain until at least April 2015.
The key message in the months leading up to 1st April 2013 (and let’s not forget that we were supposed to already be in the new regime, with the deadline of October 2012 being pushed back to April 2013 in February of this year (see story) is to get your applications for ATE insurance in now! If your client’s ability to benefit from ATE insurance depends upon recoverable premiums, do not delay in contacting TheJudge. The industry generally is becoming increasingly busy, with insurers often unable to promise swift turnaround times, and this is only bound to worsen as we get closer to April 2013.
RESEARCH YOUR INSURANCE OPTIONS
…Or ask us! We strongly recommend that practitioners thoroughly research the constantly changing ATE insurance market to make a well informed assessment of their options. The market is currently evolving with new challenges and opportunities emerging. It’s a time for taking a flexible approach to the market and not necessarily relying only on a historic relationship with a specific insurer. Statistically, the likelihood of securing cover reduces by more than 50% if the case has already been rejected, or has been sent to a particular insurer ahead of others. Approach us first to maximise the chances of securing cover quickly and at a competitive price.
SHOP AROUND FOR LITIGATION FUNDING
With an ever growing third party litigation funding market, with more new entrants likely to come into the industry in 2013, we suggest that clients shop around for financing deals to benefit from price competition. Whilst funders normally only differ in pricing to a small extent, the difference between 35% of damages and 40% of damages can mean millions of pounds retained by the client.
STAY AHEAD OF THE CROWD
TheJudge is CPD accredited and can deliver high quality training sessions to your litigation team, free of charge, discussing the developments within the insurance and funding industries and giving you top tips on how to maximise the chances of securing a competitive deal for your clients.
BE CREATIVE WITH YOUR FEES!
With the implementation of the LASPO Act comes some exciting new opportunities, including the introduction of Damages Based Agreements (‘DBAs’) to UK litigation. TheJudge has some interesting new product launches, due to come into the market early next year, so let us know if you’re interested in discussing ways in which you can de-risk it’s clients but without causing unnecessary risk to the firm’s WIP.