Counsels Opinion for Insolvency Practitioners

September 24, 2014 tags: Blog

Our question to insolvency practitioners is a very simple one;

Do you usually seek Counsels opinion before or after discussing the potential for litigation with solicitors?

We think you should do so before, and in this article we explain why and how doing so could help you to win and retain far more business. If you already instruct Counsel before referring to solicitors we will explain how we can help to make both the cost and the process even more efficient.

As you will be aware, by asking slightly different questions, or even the same questions in a slightly different order, can achieve very different results.

Members of Litigation Warranty (in association with Cotswold Barristers) are able to upload files for a specialist barrister to consider and to have an initial Skype or telephone conference with Counsel without cost (typically up to 30 minutes). Thereafter, for their own records many IP’s require Counsel’s written opinion on file. As a member of Litigation Warranty this comes at a fixed price of £500 plus VAT. We operate a triage system so that new cases are passed to the most effective Counsel. That in itself is somewhat unusual and certainly highly competitive in terms of cost but there are many other advantages to working with Litigation Warranty than with the more traditional law practices alone.

Our Barristers operate on a Direct Access basis, in other words they can take instructions from you directly (and indeed advise you on and conduct litigation for you) without the involvement of a solicitor.

As of January 2014, the Bar Standards Board introduced a new qualification for barristers which enabled those qualified to do so to go ‘on record’ with the Courts for conducting litigation, thus creating the potential to negate the requirement for solicitors’ involvement in civil litigation completely in some cases.

All civil litigation work conducted by our barristers is priced on a fixed fee basis. They also operate on a DBA, CFA or discounted CFA basis where appropriate in civil matters. However, we have found that Civil Litigation often isn’t the most cost effective or only option for IP’s to consider, even with a CFA or DBA in place.

For example, how often have your existing legal contacts recommended you to consider considered private criminal prosecutions on the basis of fraud by abuse of position?

Private prosecutions are not reliant on the financially pressurised police or other government agencies. Numerous viable prosecutions are not pursued by the State because of financial or resource limitations in these austere times.

There are major costs incentives for a private prosecutor.

As a private prosecutor you can claim unlimited compensation from the defendant in the Crown Court.  Perhaps most attractively, and even if the defendant is not in a position to pay costs, or if the prosecution is not successful, the court can and should order “reasonable” costs for investigation and legal expenses to be paid out of central funds.

Your only financial commitment to a private criminal prosecution would be to fund the case to the stage of it being deemed reasonable to pursue. This decision will occur very early on in the process, and these fees are usually recoverable at the end of the case.

So why risk creditors’ funds and your own time if you don’t need to?

Other advantages of private criminal prosecutions include:-

Speed. A criminal case can be before the Court within days of instructions being given, and usually conclude within months rather than at the more leisurely pace of civil proceedings.

Profile. Criminal cases are reported far more frequently than civil cases, and will thus bring added pressure on the defendant to settle any associated civil claim.

Penalties such as compensation are unlimited and enforced by prison terms rather than the bailiff.

No statute of limitations – the six year rule does not apply to criminal prosecutions and once you are a member of Litigation Warranty we will happily consider new cases as well as those from your archives.

When you are addressing a creditors meeting you always run the risk of one of the creditors recommending one or more of your competitors. With the benefit of a Litigation Warranty Membership you will be far better prepared than would otherwise be the case.

These are just some of the reasons you should become a member of Litigation Warranty, our barristers will consider angleswhich traditional law firms are unlikely to be familiar with.

By all means continue to reciprocate with solicitors where appropriate, Membership of Litigation Warranty simply provides another string to your bow.

Membership is on an invitation-only basis. This is because there are certain rules which apply to barristers in respect of accepting instructions on a direct access basis. We are inviting you to become a member on the basis of your professional standing.

Litigation Warranty Membership costs just £83.33 + VAT pcm per office, it’s entirely up to you how many offices you wish to register.

If you are a licensed Insolvency Practitioner and would like to become a member, please click the banner below.

Litigation Warranty

Direct Public Access Barristers with Fixed Fees