DWF signs divorce-funding deal with Co-operative bank

The Co-operative Bank has unveiled plans to launch funding deals for individual firms to provide clients with loans to fund divorce cases.

The first such deal has been signed with DWF. The tie-up will see a referral network set up between DWF and the bank that will give the firm’s private clients access to loan facilities to fund proceedings.

Loans can be repaid once proceedings have completed or on a monthly basis.

Co-operative Bank account manager Paula France said: “This is an extension of our longstanding relationship with DWF, where we’re seeking to provide facilities to their clients with a view to making the decision of choosing a law firm much easier.”

A spokesman for the bank said it was currently “exploring opportunities” to set up similar arrangements with other firms.

It comes just months after the Government announced plans to scrap legal aid funding for divorcing couples.

In November, Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly MP said the Government expected divorcing parties to rely on private markets rather than state aid to fund their divorce proceedings.

He said: “Couples are too ready and too willing to run to the courts. We think there can be a wider market in before-the-event insurance. We’d be creating a new market, but we want to see a market.”