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The Ace in the Hole? – How to help your clients to make a well-informed decision on litigation insurance and disbursement funding

By Andy Lyalle, Senior Business Development Manager

(Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 19 seconds)

Covid 19 D-Day has come and gone and, since then, it feels like I haven’t been off the motorway attending face-to-face meetings with existing and prospective clients – as well as the Zoom/Teams meetings continuing. All of which has prompted me to write this article.

One theme often discussed is providing your firm with a range of options when considering litigation insurance so they can make a well-informed decision. Often, there appears to be a picture of a specific case or client in the mind of a solicitor that prompts a discussion on insurance and funding.

A commercial dispute resolution client may require litigation/after the event insurance and funding as well as the solicitor and counsel conducting the case under a conditional fee arrangement, or they cannot pursue the case. What I would call a “silver bullet” client. There is no adverse costs risk to the client and the client does not pay any fees or disbursements. There is of a course a price to pay for this; one that will ultimately come out of the clients damages.

At the other end of the spectrum the client may be expecting and able to pay fees and disbursements as they go along as well as underwrite the adverse risk if the case is unsuccessful. So, is it worth more than a brief mention of insurance and funding to that client?

There are several models in between that can be constructed by the solicitor for their clients and the client will appreciate being informed of them. Do remember that discussion of a clients insurance and funding options can be when a case is in progress, not just at the outset.

I have experienced many cases where a client is initially prepared to pay all fees and disbursements plus underwrite the adverse costs risks – but ends up with a variation on this arrangement. Rather than lose a client, or to increase their return, a solicitor may conduct the case on a full or partial conditional fee agreement. Counsel may do likewise after discussing with the client.

Temple is prepared to consider cases for litigation Insurance and disbursement funding regardless of the retainer in place. A misconception sometimes held that litigation insurance and disbursement funding is only available if the case is conducted via a conditional fee agreement so a fee-paying client could be short-changed and ‘dealt a unnecessary hand’.

In order to provide a client with that full range of options, the solicitor can make sure the client has all the requisite information to make a well-informed choice. This may mean a well-resourced corporate client likes the idea of “hedging” their position – taking the adverse risk off the balance sheet. They may also like the idea of not tying up money by utilising disbursement funding, particularly if the interest rate is competitive and the capital and interest are not repayable until the case conclusion – and then only if the case is successful.

The above examples are those that can often be overlooked by the solicitor. A client may be unlikely to pursue the case because they fear the case “going wrong” and not being able to fund disbursements. You can help the client to make an informed decision. Speaking to a litigation Insurance and disbursement provider such as Temple will help you.

Here at Temple, we can also provide you with information guides for solicitor but now can also provide a client guide to litigation Insurance and disbursement funding. You may wish to “white label” a client guide so that it is all part of your service when scoping out a case with the client. It can become part of your strategy when discussing a case with a client and it may even be your “ace in the hole” when it comes to securing and retaining a client and adding value.

To find out more about litigation Insurance and disbursement funding and our information guides for solicitors and for clients please contact Andy Lyalle, Senior Business Development Manager on 07936 903767 or via email to

Andy Lyalle

Senior Business Development Manager
Read articles by Andy Lyalle

Andy Lyalle

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