Hefty legal costs can be of considerable concern for users of legal services, particularly when significant costs arise unexpectedly. To avoid getting caught in the web of legal billing a common strategy used by savvy consumers is to seek out lawyers who work on conditional fee arrangements – better known as “No Win No Fee”. However, even if one finds a lawyer who believes in a client’s case enough to risk investing their own time and money, the client quickly learns that there are always costs associated with ‘no cost’ services.
Aside from the standard disbursements that lawyers simply won’t pay (such court fees and expert witness costs), the general rule is that you can only ever have two out of three when weighing up quality, cost and speed in professional services. In other words, if your priority is to have your legal case move forward as efficiently as possible, achieving a quality result is just as unlikely to come cheap, as a cheap service is unlikely to produce quality results.
Effectively, a “No Win No Fee” arrangement will often mean that lawyers treat clients with low-priority, compared to ‘paying cases’.
However, thanks to a brand new idea, which recently appeared on the legal services market, the decision to obtain good quality and efficient legal advice no longer means that consumers have to be burdened with unwieldy solicitor or barrister charges.
A recently launched service called Legal Cost Finance (www.legalcostfinance.com) offers a ground-breaking solution, which is set to revolutionise the way lawyers and clients manage the costs of legal advice. The solution, which offers credit plans specifically designed to cover legal costs, allows consumers to benefit from extended repayment periods and discounted legal fees, while giving lawyers the comfort of secured funding and timely payments.
Unlike traditional ‘litigation funding’, which is limited to contentious legal cases and claims a stake in the proceeds of a case outcome, Legal Cost Finance provides direct credit solutions that are not restricted to any type of legal matter or nature of costs involved.
Analogous to financing a new car, consumers can have a third-party creditor pay their legal bills instead of paying from their own pockets. The financing facility is then repaid on convenient terms by instalments over an extended period.
The interesting twist in this otherwise straight-forward credit solution is that Legal Cost Finance applies its leverage in the legal market to negotiate significant discounts on legal bills, thereby not only off-setting the cost of financing (such as the interest rate), but making the option of financing a legal bill in many cases actually cheaper than paying the bill outright from one’s pocket.
In effect, Legal Cost Finance has actually managed to consolidate the improbable combination of high quality legal services, swift execution, and affordability.
In addition, Legal Cost Finance installs important cost controls within the lawyer-client engagement terms to ensure that advice is delivered to a tightly planned budget. This provides consumers with the comfort of being able to manage their legal expenses through detailed and timely estimates, regular updates and the ability to enforce spending limits at each stage of their legal case.
If a disagreement over a bill arises, Legal Cost Finance also offers dispute management service that enables a case to continue moving forward efficiently. The bill is simply placed in abeyance under payment security until the case concludes. Often, in light of a positive outcome, clients will want to reward their lawyers instead of quibbling over minor cost issues – leaving the dispute to fall by the wayside. Of course, in the event of a negative result, the lawyer will be asked to write off the disputed amount.
The numerous advantages offered by Legal Cost Finance over traditional billing systems simply makes legal costs less problematic; it provides security in the knowledge that no matter what happens an easy and convenient payment plan is always available to ensure efficiency, quality and affordability of legal services.
Financing one’s legal costs is a highly effective way to remove the real threat of significant hidden or unexpected costs, which discourages many people from pursuing legitimate legal complaints and hinders the success of cases already in motion.
About Dr Yuri Rapoport
Dr Rapoport is an Australian lawyer residing and consulting in the UK. His background is international banking and finance law.
He started his career in law in 1994 with the leading Australian firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
Dr Rapoport was educated in Australia, studying physiology and biochemistry at Monash University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1989 and going on to study law at both Bond University and Melbourne University, attaining a Doctorate of Legal Science degree in 2006 for his international law thesis.
In 1996, Dr Rapoport started the world’s first legal brokerage company (Prime Law Brokers), which paved the way for the development of the legal referral industry throughout the world. He has been published widely in both Australia’s and the UK’s legal journals and is recognised by the international legal community as the ‘father of legal referral services’.
Dr Rapoport sees himself as a legal services visionary, founding numerous ground-breaking solutions in the field, including the Rapoport’s Legal Directory, Legal Case Management and Legal Cost Finance.