Arranging Funding for Legal Services

When you need to find a direct access lawyer, one of the main concerns is how to fund legal advice and representation.  People are often worried over running up legal costs and, if you have not had dealings with courts or legal processes in the past, you may have no idea of how much the charges are likely to be.

However, it is important to have proper representation to put your case properly and achieve the best outcome. Whether you are facing a consumer or business dispute, a motoring charge or a case related to your home, such as a negligence claim, it is essential to have someone at your side who has expert knowledge.

Marcus Croskell has expertise in all these areas of the law – as a direct access barrister based locally in Ipswich and working with clients in Suffolk, Norfolk, across East Anglia and further afield, he can advise you on your case and represent you both in and out of court. At an initial consultation he will also discuss the costs with you and how to fund them: often insurance may be an option here.

Funding via Insurance

Fortunately in many cases, it is possible to fund legal services via insurance policies. You may not even realise that your household or motoring insurance includes a Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) section.  These are often sold as an extra for small additional charge on policy but may also be included as standard.

If you are claiming on these policies, it is essential to go about it in the right way.  You need to follow the correct procedure and keep your insurer fully informed.  The amounts covered for each claim can vary depending on insurer and wording or your policy.  Marcus can email the insurance company and give them information on the prospects of a client’s success, such as whether the client will plead guilty, or not guilty/prospect of settlement in a civil case. 

 Case Study

Marcus recently acted for a gentleman in a criminal case of drink driving.  Upon request, Marcus provided the insurer with a comprehensive written advice (also given to the client) and then liaised at every stage with the insurer to ensure the client was covered for all work undertaken.  When the case was won by the client and Marcus in Ipswich Magistrates’ Court, he obtained a costs order for reimbursement out of Government central funds for all or part of those costs (they are subject to assessment by the National Taxing Team for criminal courts) for the insurer and the costs paid initially by the client.

Household Insurance LEI

LEI is different to your main household policy.  Your home policy will likely assist if damage is caused to your home or possessions.  LEI is effectively a extra bolt-on policy that protects you from ‘uninsured losses’ and in particular is very useful when you are called upon to defend a claim against you in a civil or criminal court.  Policies may include cover for:

  •  Proceedings connected to your home (such as someone injuring themselves at your home or a neighbour bringing a case against you for a boundary dispute);
  • Personal injury, such as if you are injured in a fall (uneven pavement etc) and want to try to get compensation; or
  • Consumer disputes over goods and services.

Motoring LEI

An LEI on a motoring policy is very similar, save that it is sold as a bolt-on to your car insurance.  Once again, this will allow you to use its provisions for claims connected with the use of your motor vehicle including for defence costs of defending a driving prosecution.  Some policies may also cover you as a pedestrian and if you are a passenger in a car.

After the event insurance is also available from specialist insurers.  Often you do not need you need to be protected until too late.  If you find yourself dragged into litigation in a civil or criminal court, there may be options available to you over and above set out here.  Marcus does not work for any insurance companies and is not eligible to give you financial advice.  However, through his regulatory body and the Bar Council, there are various recommended service providers that clients can be introduced to as a starting point in their quest to protect their financial position.

Equally, there are alternative funding options that can be explored where effectively credit is given by a third party company that specialises in the payment of barristers.  The finance company will allow the client to pay instalments per any agreement between them, but the barrister is paid in the usual way.  This often gives security to both parties.  The client does not have to stump up the full amount (important if a larger and more expensive claim) from the outset and the barrister knows he will be paid in accordance with the terms of business.

There is no doubt that entering into litigation is not a life choice.  No one wants to be sued for damages or prosecuted for a criminal offence.  However, if you do find yourself in that position it is very worrying and for most people, it adds to the strain if you are not sure how you can fund a case.  However, it is well worth checking if you have a policy bolted on to your household or motoring insurance which will cover you.

If you contact Ipswich based direct access lawyer Marcus Croskell, he will help you run through all the options from public funding to insurance or specialist finance.  Please call on 0843 886 2603 for an initial free telephone consultation where your case and funding issues may be considered.  If you would like more information, please email Marcus Croskell HERE.