By Andy Lyalle, Senior Business Development Manager
(Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 55 seconds)
What is it and why it matters
This article seeks to address some assumptions and questions put to me on a regular basis and also explain some of the terminology used when discussing litigation/ATE insurance, commercial dispute resolution clients and cases.
Whether talking to a firm for the first time about litigation insurance or having a review/catch up with an established Temple partner firm I often explain the benefit of giving them delegated authority (i.e. the ability) to place their client’s cases on cover straightaway, under a Temple litigation insurance scheme.
The ability to purchase litigation Insurance directly for your client and ‘cut out the middleman’ should be considered at regular intervals because it can prove invaluable for both you and your clients.
It works so easily. The delegated authority criteria for your litigation insurance scheme will be agreed with you. You would then assess the merits of a case and, if it reaches the criteria required, be able to immediately put the case on cover via the Temple Online Policy system (TOPS).
Common observations and questions that arise during this process include:
- ‘We like talking directly to the underwriter about a case’ We encourage you to talk to us – regardless of whether it is a one-off proposal or via your delegated authority litigation insurance scheme. Our underwriting team are here to help and include a former barrister and solicitor.
- ‘What if the case falls outside of the prescribed criteria of the scheme?’ You can contact the underwriter directly and ask for it to be put on cover, but outside of the scheme.
- ‘Will the client be financially better off?’ Yes, litigation insurance scheme premium rates are usually cheaper.
- ‘Will the client still have access to your disbursement funding if we have a litigation insurance scheme?’ Yes, and you also have delegated authority for this. Temple disbursement funding is also operated via the same ‘TOPS’ online system.
- ‘Is the online system simple to operate?’ Yes, even I can operate ‘ TOPS’, and I’m a complete simpleton when it comes to IT.
- ‘I would be concerned about making a mistake when placing a case on cover.’ This is quite understandable but there is no need to worry; you put the case onto ‘TOPS’ and we will be able to provide support for any questions you may have.
Other questions and observations I am often also asked are –
- ‘We have done our due diligence and examination of the market and decided that a litigation insurance scheme with delegated authority is the best offering for our client, but do we need to review annually’. Rightly so, and as a matter of good practice we work with you to review your partnership with Temple each year. This to make sure that the scheme is working in the interests of your client and what the alternatives are each year.
- ‘Is it true that litigation insurance and disbursement funding are only available with a Conditional Fee Agreement?’ A Conditional Fee Agreement for commercial dispute is not a requirement with Temple. We regularly insure cases funded by traditional retainers as commercial litigators often prefer a more conventional fee payment.
- ‘I thought that litigation insurance schemes were only for personal injury and clinical negligence cases’ A litigation insurance scheme with delegated authority works very well for those areas of law but are just as suitable for commercial dispute cases. Some of our partner firms have a general scheme that covers all of their commercial cases, whilst others have a scheme for a particular specialisation.
We look to tailor each scheme to suit the nuances of your caseload and requirements as the practitioner. Our commercial litigation expertise includes insolvency, professional negligence, financial litigation, defamation and media, contested trusts and probate, construction, property litigation and public law cases.
You will see that certain themes develop when considering a delegated authority litigation insurance scheme. Also, an individual case may not be viable for your client or us here at Temple if submitted individually because of its low value. However, if you have a higher volume of lower value/commoditised cases a litigation insurance scheme for processing these is often a solution.
Let’s talk numbers – how many cases would we need to consider a litigation insurance scheme with delegated authority? If you were looking to submit a litigation insurance proposal form say once a month that would be a starting point. However, our experience is that with this facility available you will attract more clients. This includes solicitors with a lower volume of cases or a niche/specialisation but attracted by the fact that there is no gap in the service they provide waiting for an insurer or broker to come back to you with a decision.
If you would like to discuss a litigation insurance scheme with delegated authority, please contact me directly via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07936 903767
Andy has worn many hats in the legal services sector for nearly thirty years and is our Senior Business Development Manager. Based in our Bristol office but working nationwide, Andy enjoys meeting existing and potential clients ready to discuss our ATE insurance and disbursement funding products.
He will listen to your requirements and work with you and liaise with our team to ensure we add value to your business – develop opportunities, overcoming obstacles and steering you in the right direction are Andy’s stock-in-trade.
Working predominantly in the Commercial Dispute Resolution team, Andy is also pleased to talk to you about our BTE Employment Protection Schemes plus our personal injury and clinical negligence ATE Insurance and disbursement funding products.
Read articles by Andy Lyalle