Harbour Underwriting has partnered with broker GS Group to provide after-the-event (ATE) insurance to Scottish law firms.
ATE insurance helps both claimants and defendants in commercial disputes to mitigate the risk of having to pay the other side’s costs in the event they lose the case.
Both firms said they recognise the need for ATE insurance in Scotland, due to the growing number of commercial disputes post-Brexit and post-pandemic. In recent years, solicitors’ professional obligations in England and Wales have changed, now involving advising the client about the availability of ATE insurance in contemplation of litigation. These obligations have similar application in Scotland, the firms said.
Furthermore, strict rules apply when a solicitor gives a client a personal recommendation for an insurance contract. They should only do so if they have analysed a sufficiently large number of insurance contracts available on the market, Harbour and GS said.
“Many solicitors we speak to feel that the obligation to analyse the insurance market before recommending a contract of insurance is unduly onerous given the amount of time and work involved,” said Sharon Brown, managing director of Harbour Underwriting. “Instead, they choose to refer their client to a reputable insurance broker who can advise them accordingly. We have known GS Group for many years and are delighted to partner with them to provide Scottish lawyers with a process that will speed up and simplify the sourcing of ATE insurance in commercial disputes.”
“This partnership with Harbour Underwriting comes at a perfect time for the Scottish legal market, as we are seeing an increase in commercial disputes coincide with a sharp growth in litigation funding and ATE insurance in Scottish commercial litigation cases,” said George Stubbs, managing director of GS Group.