After the Event Insurance (“ATE”)
If you are not successful, the usual order made is that the loser pays the winner’s costs. ATE insurance can help reduce this financial risk.
Some products also cover disbursements – that is, the costs we incur on your behalf. These can be substantial such as such as Counsel and experts’ fees.
We work with leading brokers but we have not tied ourselves to any one broker or insurer. We are truly independent as we do not receive a commission or referral fee.
Although the ATE insurers will make their own assessment, they will usually ask us to provide a summary of your case, and possibly also Counsel will have to give an opinion on merits.
Under current law, the insurance premium can be recovered from your opponent, but only where the insolvency exception applies.
In some circumstances, the timing of payment of the premium can be delayed.
Advantages of ATE
- Often the levels of ATE premiums are staged so they rise as the case progresses. Where the premiums are staged in such a manner, it puts pressure on your opponent to settle at an earlier stage before the premium increases.
- You will not be intimidated by the projected high level of your opponent’s costs as, in the event of the case being unsuccessful, the insurer will meet these liabilities.
- Your opponent will be aware that the merits of the case have been independently assessed by the insurer, who has determined that the litigation has a good chance of success.
- Having ATE signals to the other party that you are serious about fully pursuing the litigation, having already minimised your exposure to your opponent’s costs
Disadvantages of ATE
- The cost of the insurance premium itself is a consideration, although the extent of the liability will be apparent as soon as you receive the insurer’s quote.
- Although ATE policies can be obtained at any stage, they may be more difficult and expensive if obtained later in the case
- Most insurers will conduct a separate assessment of your case in order to determine whether the litigation has a good chance of success. The cost of the assessment will initially be paid by you, however, this will usually then be absorbed by the premium if ATE is provided
Any Existing Policies?
Check with your broker or insurer to see if you have existing policies that cover this particular risk.