Over 200 law firms sign up with legal costs plan

AROUND 250 firms have registered to join a scheme which offers after-the-event funding to litigants without the means to pursue claims.

LawAssist, the litigation costs plan offered by Greystoke Legal Services, aims to help individuals who do not qualify for free legal aid and who do not have the savings to risk taking court action to pursue a claim (The Lawyer 9 January).

The scheme offers funding of up to £18,000 for cases likely to be successful and with a reasonable prospect of recovering costs from the third party.

If Greystoke accepts the case, the potential litigant will be required to pay a contribution of £350 including VAT for each block of £6,000-worth of legal advice.

To date, personal injury cases account for around 80 per cent of cases covered. The rest is a mixture of medical negligence, professional negligence and contract disputes.

Greystoke director Bob Gordon said the company has been inundated with enquiries from law firms requesting information about the scheme and how to join its approved panel.

“Firms range from City firms to firms with under 10 partners,” he said.

One of the benefits of panel membership includes referrals from Greystoke.

Gordon said a number of clients were directly approaching the company.

The scheme, run in conjunction with Columba Provident Society, is discretionary, but, according to Gordon, it had never turned down a claim to date. He said banking facilities would soon be available.

Greystoke Legal Services was recently set up by Hanover Park Group and provides a number of legal insurance schemes for legal practices.