The victories by both Mishcon De Reya and Stewarts Law against Commerz bank, on behalf of 104 London bankers (83 via Stewarts and 18 for Mishcon), are more good examples of alternative fees and litigation insurance enabling clients to achieve substantial seven figure pay-outs.
TheJudge was responsible for the underlying litigation insurance across the two groups, which included protection for the clients own lawyers’ fees in addition to the more traditional adverse cost insurance.
Lawyers’ fee insurance
The case is also a stark reminder that, while litigation funding grabs the headlines and is often a lifeline for impecunious claimants, financially liquid claimants (as in these cases) do have alternative options through which they can manage their risk exposure. With own lawyers’ fees insurance, clients are reimbursed the fees they’ve paid to their lawyers in the event that the case is lost, which provides considerable balance sheet certainty for companies or risk protection for individuals when embarking on litigation.
The case was another hard fought battle. The High Court ruled in May last year that the promises by Dresdner Kleinwort to pay bonuses to the employees should have been honoured after the takeover however the claimants had to subsequently wait for a favourable Court of Appeal judgment, following the bank’s appeal, before victory was truly secured. For more information on the case see The Lawyer article.