Settlement city

“I just love it when insurers settle at the door of court,” said SlipperySlope on a visit to chambers today.

“Yes, not only do we get the day off,” said OldSmoothie, “but we’re also rewarded with double fees for having taken such a huge risk in bringing a case to trial.”

“Even though the reality is that you knew you were always going to win,” smiled TheBusker.

“Quite so,” said SlipperySlope.

“So why on earth don’t they settle earlier on?” asked a pupil.

SlipperySlope have her a paternal look and said, “The key is to get the file handler at the insurer to take an aggressive stance at the start. Try and wind them up and give them false grounds for suspicion. Maybe send them the wrong witness statement or leave the impression that even you are not sure of your own client’s case.

After that they’re more likely to deny liability even on the most hopeless of cases. After that we just start billing so fast that it becomes easier for the insurer to save face by simply running the case to trial and blaming the barrister for having caved in at the last minute.”

“And even their barrister wins since he not only gets paid but the file handler will keep on passing him work despite the back chat to his superiors,” said TheCreep.

“It’s win-win all ways round,” said Slippery. “There’s nothing I like more than a beautiful virtuous circle building up the costs of both sides. Truly no-one loses.”

“Except, that is, those who have to pay for it through rising insurance premiums,” said BusyBody.

“Well someone has to pay for OldSmoothie’s champagne and baked beans,” said SlipperySlope. “Even in the age of austerity. At least this way it doesn’t come from the very poorest since they wouldn’t be able to afford a car.”
“How very reassuring,” said BusyBody.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan whose new novel is Law and Peace. For more information and to read past posts visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

May 20, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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