Due to unprecedented levels of applications for ATE insurance and litigation funding, TheJudge has secured commitment to house various underwriters on-site to speed up the application process. This facility offers a last minute lifeline to commercial litigators trying to secure an ATE insurance policy for their clients, before the window of recoverability closes with the implementation of the LASPO Act on 1st April 2013.

Matthew Amey, a Director of TheJudge, advises: “We’ve taken these measures to try and do what we can for the huge wave of last minute applications. In many instances, individual lawyers are submitting 2-3 cases each. Unfortunately, we are now past the point at which a full market search can be undertaken. So far, the system has been working and, in many instance, quotes are being prepared within 2-3 days. We would stress that time is perilously short to make new applications. Of course, not all cases are accepted but those decisions are at least being made quickly.”

In order to access TheJudge’s ‘emergency facility’, cases must meet the following criteria:

1. Claimant case;
2. Completed application pack (please see our advice section here);
3. Minimum of 60% prospects;
4. A creditworthy opponent;
5. Commercial disputes or professional negligence claims; and
6. Cases which require limits of indemnity of less than £750,000.

Cover is potentially available for adverse costs, own disbursements and own solicitor’s fees. Furthermore, for claimants facing security for costs applications, deeds of indemnity can be made available.

For cases needing larger limits of cover (i.e. £1million plus) with a recoverable premium, the prospects of securing apprioriate cover are dropping by the day. Amey adds “The difficulty we have is that, for large limit cases, there simply isn’t the time for underwriters to carry out all the necessary due diligence. That being said, there can be exceptions and so we would recommend litigators call one of the directors to discuss on 0845 257 6058. There will of course be a solid ATE insurance market post April for these larger cases albeit without a recoverable premium.”

TheJudge has added that there has been an increased volume of applications for litigation funding, simultaneously to the ATE insurance proposals. Given the urgency to complete the ATE insurance in time for 1st April, even funders are suggesting concentrating on the ATE insurance first, as it’s to their advantage too that insurance premiums are recoverable, if possible.

To discuss our ‘emergency facility’ in more detail, or to discuss anything ATE insurance or litigation funding related, please contact us.