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BridgePoint offers law firm financing for fair compensation in litigation

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.”

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BridgePoint offers funding alternatives for law firms

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.”

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Claimant firms must prepare for the long haul

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.

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Legal cost protection to change Canadian litigation

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).

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Treatment Financing as a Strategic Tool for Leveraging an Advance from a Defendant

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.

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BridgePoint offers financing to advance access to justice

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.

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The not-so-independant medial examination

Robert LaBrecque, BridgePoint Financial Services | December 13, 2013 | Posted in Articles

Mr. Bonn's comments clearly point out that whenever possible the qualifications and historical referral history of "Independent" medical experts needs to be explored by injured individuals and their legal representatives prior to attending the assessment. Now more than ever when available funding for rebuttals and tort assessments is restricted, a more aggressive posture is required to safe guard against biased and poorly executed assessments.

Plaintiff injury lawyers are also faced with an added burden to commission expert assessments on behalf of their clients from a wider range of providers making sure that the individuals evaluating their clients have had a balance of plaintiff and defense experience.

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Lawyers frustrated as motion delays hit 7 months

Robert LaBrecque, BridgePoint Financial Services | September 17, 2013 | Posted in Articles

This recent article in the "Law Times" speaks directly to the challenges of individuals who want to pursue an injury claim through the courts and may lack the necessary financial resources to do so. Delays associated with the current lack of resources such as Judges and court time make the resolution of even uncomplicated motions seem like an uphill battle. The extended length of time associated with injury litigation works on the side of insurers and defense council as the balance of power is heavily weighted due to the resource inequity.

It remains the responsibility of injured individuals and their legal representatives to plan for the financial demands associated with a protracted claims and litigation process before a "crisis" results in capitulation and the acceptance of an inadequate settlement.

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Suing over optional car insurance coverage: You can't win.

Robert LaBrecque, BridgePoint Financial Services | June 27, 2013 | Posted in Articles

Alan Shanhoff recently published an article describing the unsuccessful attempt made by an individual injured in a MVA who was unable to access the required insurance benefits to complete their rehabilitation. This person attempted to sue the broker that sold the policy, alleging that he was neither made adequately aware of the reduction in benefits nor of his ability to purchase additional coverage. The litigation was unsuccessful because the plaintiff was unable to prove that he regularly purchased additional insurance coverage in other areas such has health insurance or life insurance.

In addition to failing to win the case, the client was also ordered to pay for the insurance company's court costs in the amount of $50,000. This story has a simple message. Getting hurt in an automobile accident is not something any of us expects to experience, but it happens. You are responsible to equip yourself and your family with all medical and rehabilitation benefits available to you. Treatment can be financed and repaid from the settlement of a lawsuit if you are found not to be at fault for the accident, but equipping yourself beforehand with available coverage is less expensive and less risky. Research what is available and consult with your broker because not knowing puts your ultimate recovery at risk.

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Legal Funding 101: Third Party Financing in Canada

Grace Tsang, BridgePoint Financial Services | June 4, 2013 | Posted in Articles

Grace Tsang, BridgePoint's Director of Legal Services, was recently a guest blogger on RD Legal. She wrote about third party financing options available to both plaintiffs and law firms in Canada and how these options can be used to increase the value of a file and allow law firms to productively run their business.

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Overhaul of Auto Insurance Long Overdue in Ontario

Robert LaBrecque, BridgePoint Financial Services | February 15, 2013 | Posted in Articles

Mr. Allan Shanhoff of the Toronto Sun recently authored an article commenting on the NDP's call for an insurance rate reduction for Ontario's drivers. The article points out that drastic reductions have been made in the cost of insuring a vehicle due to reduced payouts for Med/Rehab benefits for injured drivers. Darcy Merkur, a personal injury lawyer from Thomson Rogers points out in the article that many of his clients have suffered at the hands of the new regulations.

Clearly the new regulations have achieved the goal of making the auto insurance companies more profitable and as no lowering of insurance premiums has been forecast, it seems fair to assume that until the next FSCO review in 3 years, people injured in motor vehicle accidents will continue to pay the same rates for significantly less and often inadequate benefits.

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Legal Finance Emerges as a Viable Financing Alternative for Canadian Class Action Claims

Robert Moskowitz, The Legal Finance Journal | January 22, 2013 | Posted in Articles

Compared with the U.S., the Canadian market for legal finance is smaller and more restricted. It is also viewed differently by both the public and those involved in the judicial system.

Litigation funding for Canadian class action lawsuits, for example, tends to be widely accepted as a result of courts explicitly approving indemnity and funding agreements in key cases. The principal reason is that class action lawsuits commonly promote public policy but feature defendants with far deeper pockets than the plaintiffs, and third-party funding has been viewed as an effective way to level the playing field.

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Case Commentary – Campbell v. Swetland, 2012 BCSC 423

Grace Tsang, CBA Civil Rights Newsletter | December 4, 2012 | Posted in Articles

As litigation loans grow in popularity, the question arises as to whether the financing costs on such loans can be recoverable against the defendant. Currently, the Courts have only addressed litigation loans obtained for personal expenses and disbursements. There is no decision, reported or unreported, concerning litigation loans used to finance a plaintiff's treatment plan.

The British Columbia Supreme Court trial decision in Campbell v. Swetland, 2012 BCSC 423 reinforces the basic premise echoed by past decisions concerning litigation loans used for personal expenses and disbursements; the Court will examine the reasonableness of the financing costs, the plaintiff's circumstances for seeking a litigation loan; and the expenses for which the litigation loan was used.

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The Dollars and Cents of Treatment Financing

Robert LaBrecque, The Health Professional | November 4, 2012 | Posted in Articles

The Health Professional Magazine Fall edition contains an article that BridgePoint has authored outlining the current pressures faced by treatment providers and their clients as well as exploring the potential use of treatment financing as a solution.

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The risky business of investing in lawsuits

Jeff Gray, The Globe and Mail | June 26, 2012 | Posted in Articles

When lawyers in Canada take on a case such as the proposed class action against scandal-plagued Sino-Forest Corp., they usually assume a multimillion-dollar risk: If they lose, the lawyers are on the hook not only for their own costs but also for the other side's defence.

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Many insurers reject requests - will yours?

Ellen Roseman, Toronto Star | April 25, 2012 | Posted in Articles

Suppose you're driving your car with three passengers and you hit a deer. No one is hurt, except the animal. Your insurance company quickly pays $24,000 to cover repairs to your damaged car. It's happy to protect you from financial harm after an accident.

Now suppose you and your passengers are all injured after hitting the deer. This time, the insurance company is slower to respond. It may turn down your requests to be repaid for rehabilitation treatments not covered by the health care system (such as physiotherapy or psychological counselling). It may treat you as fakers, exaggerating your injuries.

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Insurance benefits backlog a nightmare for accident victims

Josh Rubin, Toronto Star | February 1, 2012 | Posted in Articles

Getting hurt in a car crash is bad enough, but for many people in Ontario, it's only the beginning of a lengthy nightmare. People turned down for accident benefits by insurance face a wait of as long as two years before their appeals wind their way through the system administered by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.

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You can invest in stocks, bonds, real estate and now... lawsuits

Francine Kopun, Toronto Star | January 12, 2012 | Posted in Articles

Bored with stocks, bonds and real estate? Funding lawsuits is gaining ground as an investment. Plaintiffs with a strong legal case they can't afford to bring to court can get backing from investment firms that pay the legal bills in exchange for a share of the settlement, which can be substantial.

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Will 2012 be watershed year or business as usual?

Mitch Kowalski, Financial Post | January 5, 2012 | Posted in Articles

All over Canada, the legal profession faces challenges it has never faced in the past – and the challenges will only become more numerous. Richard Susskind was right on point when he wrote, "Law does not exist to provide a livelihood for lawyers any more than illness exists to provide a livelihood for doctors. Successful legal business may be a by-product of law . . . but it is not the purpose."

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Car injury claims increasingly denied

Mike Crawley, CBC News | December 30, 2011 | Posted in Articles

A Hamilton speech therapist says car insurance companies are increasingly rejecting her recommended treatments for people who've been hurt in accidents. Deidre Sperry helps her clients recover from brain injuries. Those who have been hurt in car accidents represent 95 per cent of her client base. Car insurance companies rejected five of Sperry's recommended treatment plans this year. She said that is more rejections than in her previous 11 years of practice combined.

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Ontario auto insurance changes affecting rehab coverage

Mike Crawley, CBC News | December 29, 2011 | Posted in Articles

Ontarians injured in car accidents are finding out that in many cases, the rehab prescribed by their health providers will not be covered by their insurance. Dr. Donna Ouchterlony, the director of the brain injury clinic at Toronto's St Michael's Hospital, says insurance companies are declining more and more treatment plans. "They no longer have to have a doctor review [in order] to refuse [treatment]," she said. "The impact is profound."

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The Loan Arrangers

Ava Chisling, Canadian Lawyer Magazine | November 22, 2011 | Posted in Articles

Former law clerks with decades of experience in both defendant and plaintiff law firms, they evaluate liability and come up with an estimate of value and a projected time frame for a resolution of the claim. Pauwels says BridgePoint is the only company in Canada that uses this assessment system and other lenders rely on the lawyers involved to determine the value of their own cases, and like homeowners who overestimate the price of their own houses, lawyers often overestimate the amount their case will be worth at settlement or at trial.

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Devastating accident leaves cyclist struggling with insurance payout

Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew, Toronto Star | October 18, 2011 | Posted in Articles

On Nov. 29, 2010, Charlene Groh was hit by an SUV while riding her bike near her home at Lakeshore Blvd. W. and Parkside Drive. For the first eight hours, doctors were not sure if she would live. She spent the next four months in the hospital, and was unable to walk for three of those months

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Accident victims still waiting

Alan Shanoff, Toronto Sun | September 16, 2011 | Posted in Articles

Being able to obtain insurance benefits on a timely basis is no easy task. If justice delayed is justice denied, then Ontario car accident victims are certainly getting the short end of the stick. Under Ontario's no-fault car insurance system, those injured in car accidents are entitled to certain statutory accident benefits for things like partial income replacement, attendant care, and rehabilitation services. The extent of the benefits is dependent on the extent of the injuries suffered, defined as minor, non-catastrophic and catastrophic. But being able to obtain accident benefits on a timely basis is no easy task.

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