Adverse Costs – How Greener Costs Can Help
What are adverse costs?
Adverse costs are what you would be expected to pay if you are unsuccessful in the litigation proceedings you instigated. You would need to not only cover your own legal costs, such as legal fees, disbursements and expenses, but also the costs incurred by the defendant. This can pose a significant risk and commonly deters many people from accessing legal services.
When a Judge considers an adverse costs order they will generally expect the ‘losing’ party to cover all the legal costs of the ‘winning’ party, as well as their own. Such costs can be summarily assessed but can also be assessed at a later date with the use of a detailed assessment which goes into fees and costs in more detail.
It is worth noting however, that there is funding available that protects parties against adverse costs in the case of them losing their dispute, which can be a big help to many people wanting to seek legal justice. Also, even in the event that an adverse costs order is placed upon a party, there are tools and processes at a Costs Draftsmen’s disposal to challenge the amounts being placed on a party through a Bill of Costs. Costs Experts can ensure costs are reasonable and proportionate by arguing your case through Points of Dispute.
Our Adverse Costs services
At Greener Costs, our team are experts at dealing with adverse costs orders, Bills of Costs and Points of Dispute, placing us in an ideal position to help our clients fight any unreasonable costs fees. To find out more information on our services and how we can help you in your case then please get in touch with a member of our team today.
Some of the services we offer related to adverse costs are below:
- Prognosis and preparation
- Settlement negotiations
- Preparation of Points of Dispute
- Review of Points of Reply
- Settlement discussions
- Expert assistance and representation at detailed assessment hearings
Protecting yourself against Adverse Costs
There is the option for parties to arm themselves with special legal insurance to cover them in the event they lose a case and are presented with an adverse costs order.
The two main types of insurance are Before the Event (BTE) insurance which acts like a typical insurance policy in which you take out the insurance prior to any incident occurring and prior to obtaining legal advice. This type of insurance will most likely have an indemnity limit that covers the total of the incurred legal fees and disbursements alongside adverse legal costs if the case fails.
The second type of insurance would be After the Event (ATE) insurance which parties can take out after any said event takes place in which they will seek legal proceedings, to cover their own disbursements and provides security for costs if they lose their claim.
This type of litigation insurance comes from third party companies who agree to finance a certain amount of legal costs in a case in return for a fee which will be payable through the monies recovered or ‘won’ in the proceedings. In turn, this means that such companies will have to assess all of the aspects of your case in order to make their decision on whether to provide you with the insurance, as they will be taking a risk by providing you with their insurance. If it any point a case falls below a 60% success rate then it is likely they will withdraw cover.
However, many law firms enter into agreements and partnerships with third party insurance companies to offer their clients access to litigation funding by purchasing the insurance on their clients behalf, covering their client’s liability for their own legal fees and expenses of the other party if their client is unsuccessful in their claim.
Premiums payable for litigation funding and ATE insurance are generally quite expensive to cover the risk taken by the insurance company. Premiums can be anywhere between 20-30% of the amount of cover purchased and are these costs are generally unrecoverable from the paying party. This means the insured party either pays the premium upfront or when they win their claim out of the damages they receive.
Many insurance companies will only offer cover to claimants but there are some circumstances in which they will also cover defendants, such as if the defendant has a strong and substantial counterclaim with high chance of success, if the defendant has numerous legal cases or if the defendant agrees to give the funder a stake in any future assets.
Preparation of Points of Dispute
Regardless of whether a litigation funding policy has been taken out by a party, a Notice of Commencement and Points of Dispute may still be used to try and reduce the amount of adverse costs expected from the paying party. Paying parties can dispute items and fees laid out in a Bill of Costs, challenging the proportionality of such costs in relation to their case. If no agreement or settlement can be reached via Points of Dispute and Points of Reply then the winning/receiving party must apply for a court assessment in which their legal costs will be assessed.
How Greener Costs can assist
Our experienced Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers are highly capable to assist with adverse costs and our clients can be assured that we use all of the tools at our disposable to limit the amount of adverse costs that you are billed with.
With our extensive knowledge and highly skilled team of Costs Draftsmen, we can provide law costing services to clients throughout England and Wales. We are also proud to be represented on Your Legal Advisor’s panel of costs experts.
In addition to our drafting services at Greener Costs, we are actively doing everything we can to ensure our business benefits the environment. We are doing this though carbon offsetting of our staff, becoming completely paperless and carbon offsetting through each instruction.
We're here to support your business
Contacting us is free. It's our goal to put you at ease and offer expert advice on Bill of Costs, Costs Budgets and Costs Drafting
4 Bark Street East, Bolton, BL1 2BQ