Law firm launches litigation funding with damages-based agreements option

Barry Jervis, partner and litigation expert at Shakespeare Martineau

Birmingham law firm Shakespeare Martineau is to offer damages-based agreements (DBAs) as part of its portfolio of litigation funding options.

DBAs – a fairly new addition to English law – are contingency-based agreements where legal fees are payable as a percentage out of the damages received in the event a case is successful.

Shakespeare Martineau is offering DBAs as part of its FeeManage proposition.

If a DBA is entered into and the pre-determined success criteria is achieved but the recovery from the losing party is relatively low, the DBA percentage fee from recovered monies may be a sum significantly less than that which would have been payable by the client on a normal retainer basis or pursuant to a conditional fee arrangement (CFA) – meaning an increased shared risk between client and legal advisors.

In addition to DBAs, the firm is working with a variety of funders to offer third-party funding (TPF) and after the event (ATE) insurance in combination with CFAs as potential options.

Shakespeare Martineau says it is not tied to a single funding provider in order to flex requirements and offer full or part funding for litigation claims.

Barry Jervis, partner and litigation expert at Shakespeare Martineau, said: “Too often businesses are put off from pursuing debts and assets that are rightfully theirs due to the associated costs, impact on the balance sheet and risk.

“Litigation was buoyant across the country before the pandemic and, as we emerge into a post-pandemic economy, we can expect disputes to increase further. However, the costs of litigation are climbing sharply, alongside increasing numbers of businesses experiencing cash flow issues as a fall out from the pandemic.

“Our new ‘FeeManage’ service helps to reduce the financial risk of litigation. Every individual and every business is unique and while traditional CFAs might work for one client, third party funding might be more appropriate for another. Whatever the size or complexity of the litigation, we have an option that will suit.

“We’re really proud to be taking a different approach to litigation funding. We’re not fixed to a single provider and we’re giving our clients every option available for funding their claim.”