Professional negligence body sets up ATE scheme

Professional negligence body sets up ATE schemeThe Professional Negligence Lawyers Association (PNLA) has launched the largest after-the-event (ATE) insurance group scheme outside of the ­personal injury sector.

The scheme-of-arrange­ment deal has been put in place by litigation funding brokers The Judge. It will give PNLA members the opportunity to offer ATE cover to clients looking to bring negligence suits against professionals.

“This deal has been in development for 18 months,” said The Judge director James Delaney. “It will offer a streamlined way to place insurance and also means clients can investigate claims without incurring costs.”

PNLA chief executive Nigel Mallett added: “Risk transfer options need to be discussed with all litigation clients to demonstrate how they can protect the downside cost of losing the case.”

The insurance policy ­covers individuals for legal costs incurred if they lose a case brought by ‘no win, no fee’ means. The scheme is aimed at cases where costs are unlikely to exceed £250,000 and will apply whether the case is funded by a conditional fee arrangement or not. It also includes guaranteed top-up cover and pre-investigation cover.

The policy is to be underwritten by QBE, although Delaney said further tenders would be issued to allow more insurers to compete for the business.