Access to Justice is a "human right". Right?
Most people would say so. However, the picture is less clear, and less rosy, for many businesses and individuals who do not have fighting funds set aside, and who cannot fund litigation out of cash reserves.
Such potential litigants often consider the potential gains to be insufficient to justify the risk of starting the legal process. Or they simply cannot raise the money to pay for it. Generally, if they are to pursue their legal rights, then the conventional model has been to pay for legal representation out of working capital. By definition, working capital is supposed to be at work, meaning it is in use, elsewhere: perhaps for the staff payroll; or to finance plant and equipment; or to pay for essential research and development; or to protect intellectual property.
In 2017 Lupton Fawcett launched PASSPORT, aimed at providing clients with the ability to fund claims that might not otherwise be pursued.
PASSPORT works by matching an eligible client to legal services and products provided by a combination of Lupton Fawcett itself and some third-party providers. Examples of the sorts of services and products included in PASSPORT are:
- insurance protection against costs claims from the other party
- an agreement that some or all of the legal costs are conditional upon a successful outcome to a case
- third-party funding. Where an external funder pays legal fees in return for a share of any damages recovered.
The range of claims which PASSPORT can benefit is wide, such as shareholder unfair prejudice claims, property claims, allegations of professional negligence and commercial contract disputes. Often a business or individual would not have been able to bring the claim at all if the risks and cost of litigation had not been shared. Accordingly PASSPORT has been a way to help businesses and individuals with legitimate financial and property claims to achieve justice when they otherwise couldn't.
Simon Lockley, Partner at Lupton Fawcett LLP, leads the PASSPORT initiative and our PASSPORT lawyers are recognised for their specialist legal knowledge, their commercial awareness and their ability to find solutions that meet the needs of both business and individuals. If you have any queries about PASSPORT and how it might work for you, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a confidential discussion.
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Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.