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[29 JAN 99] ALSTERS  PRESS RELEASE
Alsters Launch 'After The Event' Insurance

Alsters is helping to take some of the financial uncertainly out of litigation by offering 'Law Assist', an 'after the event' insurance which is designed to help clients who are likely to become involved in personal injury, contractual disputes or professional negligence claims.

Issued by Lombard General Insurance and administered by Greystoke Legal Services, Law Assist offers cover of between 2,000 and 3,000,000 to pay solicitors and other costs should the case be lost. Policies up to 50,000 are underwritten by Lombard General Insurance and those between 50,000 and 3million by AXA Reinsurance UK.

Under the insurance, disbursements incurred by solicitors, which are frequently substantial, can be paid on a client's behalf through a loan which can incorporate the cost of the insurance premium.

Where clients are successful costs are recovered from the opponent and the premium repaid. Where clients are unsuccessful their financial obligations - including their opponents solicitor's costs - are met by Law Assist.

Alsters Partner Peter Wilson, a member of the Law Society's Personal Injury Panel and a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, said:

"Only one thing is certain about litigation and that is it is expensive for the loser. Even successful clients can face problems if the opponent is impecunious because costs they have paid to their solicitor may not be recovered - despite a court order in their favour.

"By offering clients Law Assist we are able to remove much of the uncertainty surrounding litigation, enabling them to concentrate on what they need to do to win their case rather than worry about the potential costs they may face if they are not successful."

To take advantage of the insurance, clients who are already involved in legal proceedings or are likely to become involved can make an application to Alsters for Law Assist. After a fee of 39.95 is paid to Greystoke Legal Services the merits of the case are assessed and if the application succeeds cover can be obtained. The cover is agreed in advance and the premiums are based on a sliding scale depending on the amount of cover required.

Brian Dunk, General Manager at Greystoke Legal Services said:

"Offering Law Assist puts Alsters at the forefront of legal reform in the UK by helping to make justice affordable to many people who find themselves caught in the middle income trap of earning too much to be eligible for Legal Aid whilst not being wealthy enough to take on the risk of paying for a case themselves."
   

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CWN / Business / Newswire / Alsters / 29 Jan 99

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