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ARAG has launched a funding scheme partnership with award-winning, top 50 law firm, Hugh James, which will allow coverage for all of the firm’s claimant work. Head of Medical Negligence, Mari Rosser explained how the scheme benefits the firm.

"Our firm has a broad base of claimant litigation work, spanning from clinical negligence and neurolaw cases for individuals with serious life-changing injuries, to large-scale group litigation in our industrial disease and environmental departments. The intention behind the partnership was to appoint an after-the-event (ATE) insurance provider to provide coverage for all our claimant work."

Stephen Webber, head of Hugh James’s individual services division and recipient of this year’s Clinical Negligence Lawyer of the Year award at the Personal Injury Awards, added: “What we were looking for was an ATE provider that would allow us to offer our clients competitive premiums across all areas of our business, as well as the certainty and security afforded to them by an A rated insurer.

"What sets us apart at Hugh James is that we are not afraid of the novel, complex or difficult cases which other firms may shy away from. Early on in our dialogue with ARAG, we recognised a partner who would trust in our skill and experience, not only in the more straightforward cases, but also in those cases which are more challenging and harder fought."

After-the-event insurance has become indispensable in many areas of civil litigation and the diminishing funding options for clients mean that its use is still likely to grow. Whether a firm has just a handful of fee earners or hundreds, like Hugh James, an ATE scheme will help protect their clients and the business.

ARAG also offers a disbursement funding solution, which means firms don’t have to rely on their business overdraft or ask clients to enter into consumer credit agreements to fund ongoing costs in cases that can take years to resolve. ARAG has found that its funding facility has become more and more appealing to firms as lending tightens and is getting more expensive.

ATE insurance can be a tricky class of business for providers to underwrite, which is one of the reasons that there have been some significant failures in the market, in recent years. Whatever solution a firm decides upon, it’s vital that the provider is subject to UK regulation. Schemes that are underwritten in less well-regulated territories are much more likely to fail or be withdrawn, and the lower solvency requirements demanded offshore mean that the firm could be left in a very difficult position.

Building an ATE partnership depends on a mutual understanding and plenty of groundwork. ARAG is prepared to invest the time and resources in developing long-term relationships that help to ensure their success.