All hands to the pump

Posted by Matthew Amey, director of Litigation Futures sponsor TheJudge

An ATE broker’s inbox yesterday

It’s all hands to the pump at TheJudge as we have just received our highest ever volume of commercial litigation and arbitration after-the-event (ATE) insurance applications in one day.

There has been an increasing rise in referral volumes over the past few months, but we’re currently at an all time high. Clearly, the last few weeks of recoverable ATE insurance premiums have encouraged litigation lawyers to consider their caseloads and make urgent applications to try and ensure their clients benefit from the existing rules.

Demand for litigation funding is also significantly higher than the previous quarter.

While there is unquestionably a certain volume of applications being made as a direct consequence of the forthcoming rule changes, the vast majority of applications are in relation to sizeable commercial disputes which will still require insurance and/or funding regardless as to whether insurers and funders can complete their due diligence before 1 April.

It is clear that litigators are now focusing on their funding arrangements more intensely than ever. When it comes to litigation funding, there is no safer way to secure competitive terms than to undertake an informed search of the market.

Lawyers are increasingly asking us to identify a variety of different structures for their clients when it comes to utilising external litigation funding. It’s rare for there to only be one approach or option for any given case.

However, due to high demand and the fact that clients’ positions are often prejudiced where the case has already been rejected by some ATE insurers or litigation funders in the market, we are having to be more realistic as to whether we will accept an engagement if the client or lawyer has already attempted to secure litigation funding or insurance.