Long before any case can be brought to its natural conclusion, all law firms have to face the problem of how to fund the external disbursements they have incurred on behalf of their client.
VFS Disbursement Costs Funding (DCF) provides funding for the external disbursements incurred in running a case including, but not limited to, medical reports, experts reports, pagination and, of course, court fees. We also consider financial mis-selling cases where there is a cost of acquiring a report. In fact, most types of case can be considered provided there is an ATE policy in place which covers the costs incurred in the event of the case losing.
How does it work?
Under a Master Agreement VFS will provide a DCF facility to match your expected requirements, flexing as your needs change and drawdowns are made.
Clients are taken on by the law firm in the usual way and the law firm covers the cost of the disbursements incurred in bringing the case to its natural conclusion. The law firm will have put an appropriate ATE policy in place to cover these costs in the event of loss or abandonment.
As the case progresses and costs mount, an application is made to VFS to release the costs incurred back into the practice. Copy bills are provided and VFS provides a schedule for the specific case, releasing the funds back to the law firm. VFS will fund up to 100% of the gross costs incurred.
Each drawdown relates to a specific case so it is not a drain on the firm’s cash resources and the funding is only repaid when the specific case reaches its natural conclusion.
What is the Cost?
There is a one-off fee to put the initial facility in place.
For each drawdown there is a fee of £75. The interest charged is extremely competitive. It is agreed with the law firm at inception of the facility based on quantum and business opportunity and is paid monthly on utilisation only.
Interest is paid on a monthly basis with the first month’s interest and documentation fee deducted from the amount funded. A monthly statement is provided by VFS to ensure the law firm has accurate figures for the interest costs incurred on each individual case.
Recent judgements suggest that if a client incurs interest on the funding of their disbursements, the interest may be treated as a cost to the defendant; this will however depend upon the law firm’s arrangements with their client.
Use of Funds
The funds released are the law firm’s to use as they require:
- File acquisition, working capital
- External costs including tax and insurance
- Business expansion, Partner buy in / buy out
- VFS DCF facility provides a law firm with additional financial headroom
- Complements a law firm’s existing banking facilities
- Provides funding for the law firm – not the client
- Regulatory compliant structure & documentation
- Not subject to Consumer credit risk & regulation
- Simple, Innovative, Proven