The cost of civil recovery

Victims often pay the costs incurred in civil recovery proceedings on a privately funded basis. These may include legal and other professional fees and disbursements. Ultimately, however, these costs, or a proportion of them, may be recoverable from the fraudster.

There are a number of other options that may be available to you:

• You and/or your business may have insurance. Any coverage should be checked at the outset, ideally with the assistance of a solicitor. There are often strict time limits for notification of claims, imposed by the insurer, with which the insured must comply in order to be able to claim on the policy. The insurer may be able to insist on the choice of solicitors used to bring the claim.

• Increasingly, third-party funders will underwrite the costs on the basis that they are paid a percentage of the monies recovered. The percentage amount will depend upon a number of factors, including the size of the claim, the risks and the speed of recovery. The funders may be able to nominate the solicitors to act on behalf of the victim to bring the claim.

• Your solicitor and/or other professionals may be prepared to operate on a conditional fee basis, by which they are only paid fees (which are higher than basic fees) if there is a successful recovery. Alternatively, they may be prepared to operate on the basis that they charge a lower hourly rate which can be increased in the event of a successful recovery. However, this may not be available or appropriate in all cases (eg. for expert witnesses or forensic accountants).

• Legal costs can sometimes be shared through the pursuit of a class action in appropriate cases.