20 March 2013Print This Post

City firm strikes deal with funders and ATE insurers to back damages-based agreements

Halevy: DBAs promise to alter the marketplace for litigation funding dramatically

City law firm Lewis Silkin yesterday signalled its intention to work under damages-based agreements (DBAs) after unveiling a partnership with leading broker TheJudge so that clients using them are supported by third-party funding and after-the-event (ATE) insurance.

Known as LS ACCESS, the firm said it was the first offering of its kind.

It comprises a dedicated panel of leading third-party litigation funders and ATE insurers, including Vannin Capital, Elite Insurance and Therium Capital Management.

They are committed to providing Lewis Silkin’s clients with funding proposals and insurance quotations within five working days, “whereas on the open market it can take many weeks to obtain funding offers”, the firm said. The panel will be reviewed regularly “to ensure clients receive offers on highly competitive terms”.

Lewis Silkin said DBAs provide a useful alternative to conditional fee agreements and taken together “provide more choice and flexibility than ever before for claimants wishing to pursue litigation, but who face either liquidity and cash-flow constraints or are keen to manage risk”.

Tamar Halevy, a partner in Lewis Silkin’s litigation team, explained: “The advent of DBAs promises to alter the marketplace for litigation funding dramatically, and third-party funding and ATE insurance will no doubt remain vital as options within the changing litigation funding landscape.

“We are therefore delighted to be able to offer our clients this first-of-its-kind solution, as evidence of our commitment to delivering the full range of cutting edge litigation funding options. LS ACCESS will provide the utmost in terms of quality, flexibility and efficiency when it comes to funding potential litigation, and will be particularly relevant for high-value cases such as trust disputes, investment disputes and professional negligence claims.”

James Blick, a director at TheJudge, added: “In the litigation funding market, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. This new scheme from Lewis Silkin represents real innovation when it comes to how claimants with good cases are paired with potential funding solutions to meet their needs.

“Because panellists will be tendering on competitive terms but on a pre-screened and preferred basis, clients will benefit by receiving better, faster and more tailored solutions than ever before. Lewis Silkin’s bold step forward in terms of alternative funding will no doubt set the standard for the wider industry, as it takes its first steps into uncharted territory.”

By Neil Rose