Stephen Pauwels, BridgePoint Financial Group | January 16, 2018
Like others seriously affected by the many changes taking place in recent years in the personal injury litigation market in Ontario, we have witnessed with growing concern the dramatic shift in the balance of power towards insurance company defendants at the expense of accident victims. Moved by the tragic stories of the thousands of personal injury plaintiffs who require our financial support each year (all of whom have been re-victimized by our broken auto insurance system), we have decided to add our voice to the chorus of those seeking meaningful changes from legislators to restore access to justice for accident victims.read more
Stephen Pauwels | BridgePoint Financial Services | December 4, 2017 | Posted in Commentary
"My settlement has been held up to the point where I'm about to lose the roof over my head, my car, my cell phone. My leg braces are cutting my feet and are being held together by duct tape because I'm waiting for financial approval from the insurance company. I can't afford my medication, my medical equipment or treatment which is affecting the recovery of my spinal cord injury. I'm physically suffering. The last loan I received from BridgePoint was taken from the bank almost immediately because my line of credit went into collections. If there's anything you can so to help, it would be greatly appreciated."
Most would be shocked to read the above plea for financial help from an Ontario resident who is already years into his personal injury claim. Sadly, we at BridgePoint aren't. Why? Because we receive thousands of similar applications each year from people in the same desperate situation: trying to rebuild their lives after their accidents, but thwarted in their efforts by the very insurance companies who are supposed to help them.read more
Grace Tsang & Saleema Kassam | BridgePoint Financial Services | October 27, 2017 Posted in Commentary
Plaintiffs with tort and Accident Benefit claims should prepare for increased reductions in their awards for damages following the recent Court of Appeal Decision in El-Khodr v Lackie, 2017 ONCA 716 (“El-Khodr”). In the decision, the Court determined that the principle established in Bannon v McNeely (1998), 38 O.R. (3d) 659 (C.A.) (“Bannon”), of matching “apples to apples” in regards to the categories of awards and reduction of the same is no longer relevant.read more
Grace Tsang, Saleema Kassam & Amanda Bafaro | BridgePoint Financial Services | October 5, 2017 | Posted in Commentary
At long last, the Court of Appeal has spoken.
We have previously discussed changes to s. 258.3(8.1) of the Insurance Act that on January 1, 2015 reduced the pre-judgment interest rate for non-pecuniary damages from 5.0% to the bank rate at the time the proceeding commenced.
In El-Khodr v Lackie, 2015 ONSC 4766 (“El-Khodr”) the Court was asked to determine if this reduction applied to cases commenced prior to the amendment date. The trial judge determined, to the relief of all plaintiffs with personal injury actions commenced before the amendment date, that the amendment did not apply retrospectively. In the absence of express or implied intention, the Court held that the change in pre-judgment interest rate was to be enacted on a go-forward basis, and to find otherwise would be a windfall for insurance companies and cause disadvantage to insured persons. This was a welcome decision to plaintiff personal injury lawyers already battling defendant insurers on the retroactive application of the rate reduction.
As is often the case with law, however, a conflicting decision followed just months later in Cobb v Long Estate, 2015 ONSC 6799 (“Cobb”). The trial judge in Cobb exercised his discretion under s.130 of the Courts of Justice Act and set a pre-judgment interest rate at 3%.read more
BridgePoint Financial Services | November 22, 2016 | Posted in News Updates
Don’t let your clients needlessly pay the higher loan costs of other litigation lenders. Until the end of this year, BridgePoint is extending a special offer to refinance any of our competitors’ higher interest loans at a special 18% interest rate and NO ADMIN FEE. This offer could save your clients thousands of dollars (while saving you a major headache) at settlement.read more
AdvocateDaily.com | November 1, 2016 | Posted in Articles
When John Rossos co-founded BridgePoint Financial Services Inc. in 2005, he and his partner, Stephen Pauwels, set out to provide the kind of funding for law firms and their clients that would help them gain access to justice.
More than a decade later, BridgePoint is Canada’s largest funder of litigation, offering services to more than 1,000 law firms across the country through such products as working capital financing for law firms, settlement loans for personal injury clients, and financing for commercial and class action cases.
“We provide integrated risk-management solutions for law firms,” he tells AdvocateDaily.com.
“We specialize in understanding legal risks — we can take a look at any firm or any legal matter and offer a number of different services that enable lawyers and their clients to offset financial or indemnity risk. In doing so, we promote access to justice by ensuring that law firms and/or their clients have the resources to bring claims forward and get fair compensation.”read article
AdvocateDaily.com | October 6, 2016 | Posted in Articles
BridgePoint Financial Services Inc. provides disbursement financing to law firms to help lawyers grow their practices, fund expert reports required to validate their clients’ files and maximize compensation for their losses, says co-founder John Rossos.
“Traditional sources of financing, including banks which have fixed lending criteria, do not understand the business of personal injury law; and do not offer law firms a reliable source of operating capital,” he tells AdvocateDaily.com. "This puts considerable financial pressure on personal injury law firms.
“Unlike other lenders, BridgePoint understands the value of a law firms’ work in progress, and the correlation between disbursements invested today and fees realized tomorrow. The company has designed a variety of flexible disbursement financing alternatives to help law firms grow their practices with the judicious use of the firm’s own capital.”read article
Brian Ginsler, BridgePoint Financial Services | June 1, 2016 | Posted in Commentary
BridgePoint was approached by Findlay Law in Hamilton to obtain a treatment credit line to finance the ongoing costs of care of their client CC, who had suffered numerous fractures, brain injury and psychological trauma in a head-on MVC.
The SABS non-catastrophic funding was exhausted in the first year for both medical and rehabilitation benefits and attendant care, but the GCS and the length of time following injury did not permit a CAT application to be made at that time.read more
Matthew Gwynne, SpectraLegal | May 31, 2016 | Posted in Articles
Understanding how litigation strategies affect cash flow will allow claimant firms to hold their nerve in the face of obstructive defendant tactics, advises Matthew Gwynne of UK-based SpectraLegal Finance.
Claimant clinical negligence lawyers will be all too aware of obstructive defendant tactics when it comes to attempting to reach a settlement. Even some NHS chief executives have spoken out about the tactics of their own lawyers.
These tactics can range from the infuriating to the ridiculous. Ignoring timelines stated in the established protocols, an issue that I understand both the Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers and Action against Medical Accidents are focusing on currently, is very common. Failure to settle strong cases at an early stage is another, with defendants letting claimants proceed to a full letter of claim in the knowledge that they will settle, admitting liability on the eve of a trial, and then querying all the avoidable costs involved.read article
SOLICITORS JOURNAL | February 16, 2016 | Posted in News Updates
A business created by Canada's top law firm financier has launched in England and Wales with plans to lend at least £50m to personal injury law firms during 2016.
SpectraLegal is the brainchild of BridgePoint Financial Group, a leading provider of litigation financing, which has supported more than 1,000 Canadian firms over the past 11 years.
Options for personal injury law firms in England and Wales to fund their practices have been in short supply in recent years amid caution from traditional lenders and the many reforms hitting the sector.read more
Grace Tsang, BridgePoint Financial Services | September 25, 2015 | Posted in Commentary
We have written in a previous blog about Bill 171, which proposed several significant amendments that would affect injured parties. One of those amendments would set the pre-judgment interest rate (“PJI rate”) for non-pecuniary damages (damages for pain and suffering) which arose from bodily injury or death caused by a motor vehicle accident at the same rate as the PJI rate set out in the Courts of Justice Act (“CJA”). The result would be a significantly lower interest amount to the plaintiff in those situations. On January 1, 2015, the Insurance Act was amended to reflect this change. It does not appear that this amendment included a transition period. This raises the question as to whether the amendment would apply retroactively to files that are already before the Court.read more
Bob LaBrecque, BridgePoint Financial Services | July 27, 2015 | Posted in Commentary
This is an update on the continuing saga of Scarlett v. Belair. We had previously written about this action in 2013 with respect to the Arbitrator’s and Director’s Delegate decisions. In 2013, the Arbitrator had narrowly interpreted the application of the Minor Injury Guidelines (“MIG”). By way of background, the MIG limits the medical/rehabilitation amount available to individuals injured in a motor vehicle accident to $3,500.00 unless they have a fracture, full thickness soft tissue tear, or are catastrophically impaired.read more
Grace Tsang, BridgePoint Financial Group | April 20, 2015 | Posted in Commentary
On December 12, 2014, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Barrie released its decision in Maxwell v. Luck, 2014 ONSC 7179 (CanLII). The endorsement dismissed the defendant’s threshold motion at trial and maintained the jury’s award of $108,000. This decision is significant for the Court’s review of the assessment on chronic pain conducted by the defendant’s expert. The action is also significant as the Court ordered a penalty against the defendant insurer for putting the plaintiff’s file in the threshold program.read more
John Rossos, BridgePoint Financial Services | January 19, 2015 | Posted in News Updates
In March 2004, five residents of Sydney, Nova Scotia commenced a class action with respect to the contamination of their properties as a result of the operation of coke ovens and steel operations in the nearby Sydney Tar Ponds. Their properties were contaminated with highly toxic substances including, in certain instances, arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The Governments of Nova Scotia and Canada were named as defendants for their role in the operation of the Sydney Tar Ponds and the resulting contamination.
The representative plaintiffs' class action law firms, Wagners and Siskinds LLP, contacted BridgePoint Global Litigation Services Inc. ("BridgePoint") on behalf of their clients to provide them with a $500,000 indemnity to help offset any order made against them to pay the defendants' costs. BridgePoint's indemnity allowed the representative plaintiffs to focus on advancing the action without worry that they could face potential financial ruin for agreeing to represent the class.read more
John Rossos, BridgePoint Financial Group | November 21, 2014 | Posted in Commentary
On November 17, 2014, the British Columbia Court of Appeal rejected an appeal seeking the recovery of interest for a loan obtained by the claimant to pay for the cost of disbursements. The claimant borrowed money from a litigation financier to pay for the cost of their counsel’s disbursements and sought recovery of the interest. The B.C. Court of Appeal’s decision is the latest pronouncement on the issue concerning the recovery of financing costs in litigation and unfortunately contradicts a recent decision reached by the New Brunswick Court of Appeal in Leblanc v. Doucet, further adding to the growing number of conflicting decisions across Canada on this issue. Although it is tempting to say that the recovery of financing costs for loans used to finance disbursements incurred in litigation is a “dead issue”, there are very good reasons not to rush to this conclusion.read more
Stephen Pauwels, BridgePoint Financial Services | November 17, 2014 | Posted in News Updates
BridgePoint Financial was recently invited by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) Board of Directors to present and discuss its services at their most recent meeting on October 20, 2014 in Toronto. The purpose of the meeting was to assist OTLA in considering its position on the litigation lending industry in light of the BC Trial Lawyers Association’s decision to restrict litigation finance companies from marketing through their organization.
This blog post is taken from the presentation made by Stephen Pauwels, Principal of BridgePoint Financial.read more
Grace Tsang, BridgePoint Financial Services | September 24, 2014 | Posted in News Updates
Prince Edward Island enacted some changes to its Insurance Act which will affect motor vehicle accidents that occur on or after October 1, 2014 or motor vehicle insurance policies that are issued or renewed on or after October 1, 2014.read more
AdvocateDaily.com | September 3, 2014 | Posted in Articles
Irwin Mitchell, a leading U.K. law firm, has recently reported that it has been retained to act in a number of professional negligence actions against lawyers by commercial clients who were not advised about the availability of “after the event” insurance (also known as ATE insurance). ATE Insurance in the United Kingdom is similar to legal cost indemnities offered by our company, BridgePoint Indemnity Company (BICO) in Canada, that protects clients against adverse cost exposure in the event they are unsuccessful prosecuting their claims (plus the option to purchase protection for their counsel’s own costs or disbursements).read article
wtinjury.com | August 14, 2014 | Posted in Articles
David Wallin, a Director at Whitelaw Twining and Chair of the Plaintiff Bodily Injury Practice Group, dedicated to assisting clients with bodily injury claims, recently secured a significant advance payment from an insurer for rehabilitation expenses for a client using BridgePoint Financial Group's term sheet and treatment financing programme to strategically create exposure for the insurer for financing costs incurred as a direct result of denying his client's request for an advance.read article
Stephen Pauwels, BridgePoint Financial Group | August 12, 2014 | Posted in Commentary
This decision is significant as it represents the first instance where interest on a litigation loan has been recovered from an insurer here in Ontario with the prospect of a full interest recovery pending the outcome of the trial(s).read more
Stephen Pauwels, BridgePoint Financial Group | July 31, 2014 | Posted in Commentary
A recent Nova Scotia Costs Order represents the first time in that province that a defendant has been ordered to reimburse interest incurred by a plaintiff in full on litigation loans which were “necessary to continue the litigation”. Mr. Lowell Weir was one of a group of plaintiffs who were awarded in 2013 over $2 million in compensatory and $200,000 in punitive damages in a securities-related action against National Bank Financial which arose from the collapse of Halifax technology company, Knowledge House Inc. In order to afford the costs involved in the prolonged litigation, he borrowed approximately $100,000 through three separate litigation loans, incurring total interest costs in excess of $80,000.read more
John Rossos, BridgePoint Financial Services | July 24, 2014 | Posted in Commentary
Renée Vinett, a partner at Toronto personal injury law firm, Howie, Sacks & Henry, successfully used legal cost protection issued by BridgePoint Indemnity Company (“BICO”) to defeat an application seeking $180,000 as security for costs from her Ontario-resident client who suffered injuries in a horseback riding accident which took place in Alberta.read more
AdvocateDaily.com | July 16, 2014 | Posted in Articles
BridgePoint Financial Services Inc. is the only company of its kind in Canada that offers a completely integrated service for law firms and their clients to ensure fair access to justice by providing unique financing solutions to support the specialized needs of plaintiffs, their lawyers and the experts who develop their legal claims, says co-founder John Rossos.
“We continually educate counsel and clients on various ways that we could share risks with them to make sure they can advance their claims and obtain fair compensation,” he tells AdvocateDaily.com.read article
John Rossos & Grace Tsang, BridgePoint Financial Group | June 24, 2014 | Posted in Commentary
On May 28th, 2014, Justice Gropper of the British Columbia Supreme Court approved a Litigation Funding Agreement (“LFA”) in the class action Stanway v. Wyeth Canada Inc. This represents the first time a B.C. court has approved a third party financing agreement for class actions.read more
Grace Tsang, BridgePoint Financial Services | May 23, 2014 | Posted in Commentary
Sloan Mandel, a partner at Thomson Rogers, specializing in serious personal injury and medical malpractice claims, recently secured a significant advance payment from an insurer for rehabilitation expenses using BridgePoint’s term sheet and treatment financing programme to strategically create exposure for the insurer for financing costs incurred as a direct result of denying his client’s request for an advance.read more
Grace Tsang, BridgePoint Financial Services | March 18, 2014 | Posted in Commentary
On March 4, 2014, Bill 171 (An Act respecting insurance system reforms and repair and storage liens) had its first reading in the Ontario Legislature. The Bill proposes to move disputes pertaining to Statutory Accident Benefits ("SABS") from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario to the Licence Appeal Tribunal.
There are other changes that will be of interest to injured parties and their representatives if this Bill is enacted...read more
Grace Tsang, BridgePoint Financial Services | February 25, 2014 | Posted in Commentary
Lawyers should be aware of the Court of Appeal's recent decision to uphold the motion judge's finding that the appellant insured's right to claim Non-Earner Benefits was barred by a limitation period.
On November 11, 2005, Tanya Sietzema was involved in a car accident. She filed an application for benefits with the Economical Mutual Insurance Company ("Economical"). Economical provided Ms. Sietzema with its Explanation of Benefits Payable by Insurance Company ("OCF-9"), which allowed her to receive Income Replacement Benefits until March 2, 2006. The OCF-9 also indicated that she would not receive Non-Earner Benefits because she was employed at the time of the accident. At the bottom of the OCF-9, under the heading, "WARNING: TWO YEAR TIME LIMIT", Economical advised Ms. Sietzema that she had two years to dispute Economical's assessment of her claim.read more
Grace Tsang, BridgePoint Financial Services | February 10, 2014 | Posted in Commentary
On February 1, 2014, new amendments to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule ("SABS") came into force. These changes are of significant note and affect the Minor Injury Guidelines ("MIG"), attendant care and the election of certain benefits.read more
Bob LaBrecque, BridgePoint Financial Services | January 28, 2014 | Posted in Commentary
On January 23rd 2014, the FAIR Association of Victims For Auto Insurance Reform ("FAIR") submitted a paper outlining their concerns to the Ontario Legislature as the Legislature prepares to contemplate changes to the current SABS.read more
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NATIONWIDE LENDING SERVICES available in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Yukon Territory. PLAINTIFF LENDING SERVICES are commonly referred to as Settlement Loans, Personal Injury Loans, Lawsuit Loans, Pre-settlement Loans, Litigation Loans, Litigation Lending, Personal Injury Funding, Personal Injury Advances, Law Firm Loans, Law Firm Financing, Law Firm Funding, Legal Funding, Legal Loans, Legal Financing, Litigation Funding, Litigation Financing, Settlement Advances, Settlement Financing. BridgePoint Financial Services provides innovative financing and risk management solutions for the Canadian market (Canada).