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Managing Costs in Litigation: Strategies for Legal Financial Planning

By Maria Hickey on January 3rd, 2024

Court cases involve substantial financial undertakings, often becoming lengthy projects priced in the hundreds of thousands or more. Careful planning and cost control from the outset through resolution are imperative so expenditures don’t spiral out of control.

With smart strategies, barristers can effectively budget and manage litigation spending across expenses like legal fees, court costs, expert witnesses and investigations while achieving optimum outcomes for clients.

We explore best practices for legal financial management, from an early case assessment through to trial and appeals. We also look at how comprehensive barrister insurance can assist in funding complex litigation.

Initial Case Evaluation

The first step is objectively evaluating any potential case on its merits and economics before accepting it. Consider:

  • Legal merits – Realistically assess prospects of winning based on available evidence and case law. Be wary of long-shot claims.
  • Liability estimates – Approximate total possible adverse cost judgements if the case is lost. Incorporate liability insurance coverage limits.
  • Cost expectations – Develop an initial budget estimating all potential expenses over multiple stages, from preliminary motions through appeals.

A thorough upfront assessment better positions both the client and legal team to make an informed commitment to the time and costs ahead.

Ongoing Budget Management

Once engaged, regularly track and manage expenses across each phase:

Legal activities

Closely partner with internal and external solicitors to align legal strategies with budgets, monitoring expenditures on research, filings, hearings, travel and other necessary work.

Expert costs

Control outlays on vital specialists like financial analysts or technical expert witnesses by scoping engagements, comparing provider rates, and keeping retainers modest.

Evidence gathering

Strategise early what documents, testimony, data and other evidence are imperative to avoid non-essential investigations. Carefully evaluate inquiry and eDiscovery tools for efficiency.

Court fee

Keep aware of filing expenses, transcript costs and all court-related bills that accumulate swiftly. Discuss fee waiver eligibility if financial hardship applies.

Leveraging Litigation Finance Tools

For expensive business disputes, third-party litigation financing can assist with costs ranging from case expenses to covering adverse awards if claims are unsuccessful. Finance firms provide funding in return for a percentage share of any final judgement or settlement. This transfers key financial risks while facilitating legal action that could otherwise prove cost-prohibitive.

Protect your Practice with Brisco Barrister Insurance

By beginning with case evaluation, maintaining budget vigilance, leveraging financing methods and securing comprehensive insurance, barristers can implement disciplined financial control over litigation costs.

Here at Brisco Business, we offer specialist barrister insurance packages tailored to the unique risks and requirements of legal practices. Our barrister insurance provides vital protections, including:

  • Professional Indemnity – Protects against negligence claims and compensates clients for errors or omissions.
  • Public Liability – Guards against injury lawsuits from third parties like clients visiting offices.
  • Online Protection – Covers cyber incidents like data breaches. Critical in an increasingly digital profession.

Contact us today to protect  your practice while prudently managing operational risks and costs. Our expansive policies account for every eventuality, while our expert team offers guidance on structuring premiums cost-effectively.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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