By Matthew Pascall, Senior Underwriting Manager
(Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 10 seconds)
In our 2020 February newsletter I said we wanted to talk to our clients a little less and listen a little more. I’d like to think that, notwithstanding Covid, we have taken time to listen. In fact, Covid may have helped. Thanks to ‘Zoom’ and ‘Teams’, we’ve probably spoken to more of our clients and potential clients than would otherwise have been the case.
Although we can’t wait to actually meet people, meaningful and direct communication has, in some ways, actually been easier than in the past. Our webinars have been framed to give contributors a chance to tell us how litigation/ATE insurance either works or doesn’t work for them and their clients. It has given us useful food for thought – that we have, metaphorically, digested.
Let me explain this with two particular examples: the use of litigation insurance in Scotland and for contentious trusts and probate across the UK.
- Our Scottish contributors commented that some litigation insurance providers and intermediaries don’t always understand how litigation works in Scotland. Since starting to focus on Scotland we have taken time to develop bespoke policy wordings that are governed by Scots law; as underwriters, we’ve made a point of familiarising ourselves with as much Scots law and procedure as we can. With each case insured we’ve learned more and are committed to working harder at this.
- In our contentious trusts and probate webinar I asked if there is a role in providing some adverse costs protection for trusts and trust assets. In practice this may not be a cause for concern but, as I said in the webinar, solicitors should ‘throw down a gauntlet. Present us with the case and the costs risks associated with it and see if we rise to the challenge – writing a policy that gives clients the protection they need.
We’re about to roll out a new commercial policy wording that should provide even greater clarity for our insured – and we’re doing the same for our coverholder agreements. In both cases, we want these vital documents to work better for the insured. Part of our knowledge-sharing commitment is helping those new to litigation insurance to easily get started with the Temple service experience.
We’ve also listened to what our clients have said about our pricing structure. Soon you will see new insurance premiums and an easier to understand premium structure. This will provide clients with greater certainty about the amount payable if and when they are successful.
- Do remember that Temple premiums are always deferred and contingent on success. In short – you’re covered if you lose, you only pay if you win and there’s no upfront premiums.
- If you don’t think a litigation insurance premium we propose is going to work for your client, please tell us – we really are here to listen.
Our focus in 2021 is to offer more solicitors the freedom to insure their cases quickly and simply by issuing policies themselves. Many of our client law firms do this already, but we want to give more of you the benefit of using our on-line ‘TOPS’ system to get cases insured in the time it takes to complete a form on-line and press a button. There’s no need to refer cases to an underwriter – solicitors don’t need our consent to issue proceedings and to make, accept and reject offers.
And finally, the last 12 months have been challenging for all of us, but Spring is definitely in the air, we have a roadmap out of lockdown and the vaccination scheme is working well. Here at Temple we can’t wait to get out and about and meet you all in person as soon as possible.
To find out more about what we can we do for you in 2021 with regard to litigation insurance and disbursement funding, please call me on 01483 514428 or email email@example.com.
Matthew was called to the Bar in 1984 and joined Guildford Chambers two years later. Spending more than 30 years in practice there, he was listed as a Legal 500 Tier One barrister.
He joined the commercial team at Temple Legal Protection as Senior Underwriting Manager in 2017.
Matthew was appointed to Temple’s Board in December 2022 as Legal Director and Head of Commercial.
His knowledge of the commercial legal sector and litigation practice is invaluable to the business and our clients, providing specialist experience to lead the commercial litigation insurance team.
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