Rick Gregory’s Interview with Brain Injury Group
This month we welcome VFS Legal Funding to the membership of Brain Injury Group
VFS Legal Funding have been providing funding solutions direct to UK law firms for over 9 years. Their products release cash locked up in disbursements and WIP, providing certainty and financial resources in today’s unique situation.
We spoke with Rick Gregory, Associate Sales Director – at VFS Legal Funding to learn more about how their products may be able to assist law firm members of Brain Injury Group.
Rick, can you tell us a bit more about VFS Funding and how you came to be?
VFS Legal was established in 2011 by Norman Kenvyn and Robert Norman. Norman’s background is in asset-backed finance and Robert’s in programme management. Following Norman’s introduction to the legal sector, he recognised the challenges that typical law firm face in terms of cash flow predictability. The pair came together to address what they saw as an obvious deficiency in funding for the legal sector. The rest is history and VFS are now established as the leading funder in the legal sector lending over £150 million direct to firms since inception.
You have three products available to Brain Injury Group members, the first being a Disbursement Funding Facility– can you please explain how this works?
Our Disbursement Funding Facility (DCF) can be used to fund disbursements and issue fees on individual files releasing cash tied up in disbursements incurred. The firm can utilise this how they wish..
Are their any specific requirements for this Facility?
Yes, the law firm will need to have in place an appropriate ATE policy to cover the cost of disbursements incurred in the event of the case being lost or abandoned.
Is there a limit on the amount of disbursements that can be funded?
No, we can fund up to 100% of disbursements incurred on each individual case. As a case progresses and disbursements are incurred, the law firm makes an application to VFS to release the costs back to the law firm. This is a straight forward process and eases the financial pressures on firms of expensive court fees and expert reports.
What about the cost of the scheme and agreement term?
We charge a one-off fee to put the initial facility in place, each drawdown incurs an additional small fee and we charge a competitive rate of interest. There is no non-utilisation fee like many of our competitors and no fixed or minimum term. Funds are repaid on the natural conclusion of the case.
Your other products are Costs Advance Funding and High Costs Case Funding – how do these work?
Costs Advance Funding (CAF ) When a law firm has won a case and the bill of costs has been served.
VFS can advance funds against the settlement of the expected costs directly to the firm’s account.
This provides an immediate cash boost to the firm and allows the firm to negotiate a better settlement and not have to accept a lower offer to get cash in. This is repaid upon the agreed costs being received.
High Costs Case Funding (HCF) we feel would be perfect for Brain Injury Group members. It is for higher value cases where there is an admission of liability . Instead of waiting for the end of the case, VFS can release part of the WIP already incurred and disbursements to date upon review of the file. This aids cashflow and this process can be repeated as more WIP and disbursements are incurred on the file. Once again this is paid upon the natural conclusion if the case.
We are living in very strange times at the moment, is now a good time for law firms to consider legal funding?
Now, more than ever, firms have one eye on cash flow as we move towards an exit from lockdown. The future is uncertain at the moment, motor insurers have indicated that there has been a drop in accidents in the last couple of months, The NHS has been under immense pressure and more than likely will continue to be. This is likely to have a knock-on effect on personal injury practices in the coming months as there could be a decrease and delays in claims.
Additionally, the clinical negligence sector faces uncertainty with some predicting a rise in claims and others predicting a decrease.
Our facilities are centred around assisting cash flow for law firms, right through to the conclusion of the case, which allows law firms to better predict their cash flow in the difficult months ahead. The complex nature of the work many network members undertake means payment is often received many years from the start of case. VFS can assist and help with cash flow and are delighted to be able to assist with Brain Injury Group Members.
How can our member firms contact you to find out more?
Member firms can contact me, Rick Gregory, for an informal chat, via email email@example.com or telephone 07789 686 523/0208 315 6529.
I’ll be available too at Brain Injury Group’s training events when they restart later this year.