MARKET RUNS RISK OF UNDERMINING LOW COST LEGAL EXPENSES WITH KNEEJERK...

...REACTION TO WEBSTER DIXON RULING

Arc Legal Assistance (Arc Legal) has cautioned some in the legal expenses market on making premature comments on the impact of the High Court ruling in the Webster Dixon v Equity Syndicate case on the UK's thriving low cost before the event legal (BTE) expenses sector.

Helen Withers, Managing Director of Arc Legal said: "Based on recent comments, you'd be forgiven for thinking the matter is a done deal and the low-cost market is dead.

"The ruling should not be seen as a win for non-panel solicitors. This is a technical decision on how non-panel solicitors' costs should be assessed not a decision on the level of costs. With leave to appeal being granted the outcome is not certain.

"The reduction in legal aid provision makes the low cost, add-on before the event insurance model a clear alternative method of funding litigation to improve consumers' access to justice.

"Arc Legal remains committed to the low cost add-on model. The ability of our model to control costs means that consumers can purchase cover at premiums circa £20 and have representation from a top 20 national, experienced law firm.

"We would have to question whether the public would actually wish to pay much higher premiums in order to allow their own choice of solicitor to act without the insurer having any ability to contain costs"

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