This year has been challenging for the legal industry: pre-LASPO cases are in decline and the new legislation is now being applied with some cases finding their way to the appeal court; abolition of tribunal fees has led to increased risk exposure for employers without appropriate BTE cover and legal services; and there have been significant rulings from the upper courts relating to ATE insurance. A period of transition naturally garners grey areas and we are now seeing examples of this, hopefully greater clarity will develop into the New Year.
The year has brought a strong focus on employment law, including the UK Gig economy, and the Supreme Court decision to scrap employment tribunal fees. Since the introduction of fees, employment claims have fallen by an estimated 70%, employers must appreciate the increase in risk exposure caused by the Supreme Court ruling. Our Employer protection scheme is designed to transfer this risk away from employers and increase predictable revenue streams for law firms.
In March, Temple Legal Protection became the first provider in the market to offer a claims dispute service as part of its loss adjuster fee insurance cover called Loss Adjust Advantage. Our commitment to continual innovation, product development and providing market leading services for our clients remains a priority.
May saw us privileged and delighted to sponsor the Bristol Law Society’s Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence conference which was a rousing success, and added to the list of key industry organisations and events in which we take an active role in including AvMA, APIL and PNLA.
The summer brought with it some much welcomed warm and dry days and also a refreshing ray of sunlight from Temple Legal Protection for businesses. Click here to read our tips on before the event commercial claims preparation. It may be unusual for an insurer to promote help when making claims however our reputation has been built on offering the best service, products, advice and support to the marketplace.
This year has also brought further benefits to the legal sector through Temple Funding. We now offer a full portfolio of insurance products combined with disbursement funding which allows law firms to ease their own cash flow and provide unrivalled access to justice for their clients. Lord Faulks QC’s article in The Times and reported in Litigation Futures, reasserted the importance of regulation within the funding industry and his recommendation is supported by Temple Funding, a fully FCA authorised company. Our authoritative and comprehensive guide to litigation funding 2017 is available to download here.
There have been a number of significant cases for Temple this year and some that affect the industry as a whole:
- Main & Ors v Giambrone & Law illustrated the essential role of ATE in commercial litigation, a group action which would not have been viable without insurance backing.
- BNM v MGN set a precedent that for pre-LASPO cases with recoverable additional liabilities including ATE, proportionality should be assessed under the pre-LASPO guidelines.
- Miller v Associated Newspapers and Frost and Ors v MGN saw a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court that ATE and success fees do not breach ECHR Article 10 rights.
- Peterborough NHS v McMenemy – The appeal court dismissed an appeal by the health care trust and with this judgment secured the rights of claimants to protect themselves from the outset by allowing them to uptake ATE insurance as soon as a CFA is agreed with the law firm representing them. It reinforced that Callary v Gray (a Temple Legal Protection pre-LASPO test case heard in the House of Lords) is still strong and reliable law.
Finally, in November this year we successfully launched the upgraded Temple Online Policy System (TOPS) which retains all the existing strengths and features combined with a brand new interface. We have received continual positive feedback since our introduction of the original TOPS portal and the upgraded system ensures we remain a market leading service provider.
We have more exciting developments for 2018 which we look forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks.
Director, Underwriting division