New Funding Choices for Clients will help ‘Open Up’ the Law

17th October 2019

Simpson Millar welcomes the work of the Damages Based Agreements (DBA) Reform Project launched today. 

In 2013, attempts to introduce Canada-style contingency fee arrangements were frustrated by a set of regulations which turned ‘Damages Based Agreements’ into ‘Do not Bother Agreements.’ 

Speaking in London at a launch event Professor Rachel Mulheron and Nicholas Bacon QC, set out a compelling way forward to make these agreements a reality.  

A DBA is an agreement between a solicitor and a client whereby fees are contingent on the success of the case and are determined as a percentage of the compensation received by the claimant.

Commenting on the proposed reforms and in attendance at the launch event, Simpson Millar CEO & Managing Partner Greg Cox, said:

“These proposals will enable progressive firms like Simpson Millar to give better choice to our clients as part of our own mission to Open up the law.

Historically some clients have been unable to access legal services, but these changes, if implemented, will enable them to do so moving forward, and my colleagues and I are looking forward to being able to deploy them.

I would like to pay tribute to the work of Professor Rachel Mulheron and Nick Bacon QC. Most importantly I would urge the government and the MoJ to implement these proposals as soon as they are able to find time given the wider and more pressing matters  they are engaged in.  

Similar proposals were frustrated in 2013 and it would be a significant missed opportunity to increase access to justice  if these current proposals were not implemented.”

Steve Din of Doorway Capital, Simpson Millar’s owners, also welcomed the proposed changes which he said could ‘facilitate wider access to justice’.

He went on to say that some of the single largest beneficiaries of the reforms will be firms that already benefit from considerable funds already in place to fund litigation and respond to announcements such as this.

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