Friday, February 22, 2013

Third Party Funding - step-by-step

If a business has a strong case for litigation, but doesn’t have the means to support it through to fruition, then they may need to consider sourcing funds from a third party.

Consult a Professional

In the instance of a legal dispute, a business should always consult a solicitor first and foremost. Under their code of conduct, solicitors in England and Wales must advise their clients of all viable options by which they may bring their case to court.

If a litigation case is substantial enough (generally worth over £1m and with a 60%+ chance of success), then sourcing funds from a third-party may be the ideal option.

What is Litigation Funding?

In the instance of third party funding, an agreement is laid out at the start of the case whereby the funder agrees to finance proceedings in return for a guaranteed percentage of the reward. If the case is unsuccessful, the client walks away having made zero outlay.

For an arrangement to be worthwhile for the funder, however, there must be a high probability of success and enough of an anticipated reward to ensure a return on investment. For this reason, third party funding is generally reserved for cases involving large sums of money, and so are principally regarded as a tool for businesses.

Is Litigation Funding Safe?

Third party funding is self-regulated. Membership of the Association of Litigation Funders (ALF) sets the industry standard for credibility, and their voluntary code of conduct should be adhered to. The code goes some way to regulate compliance, stipulating:
  • The funder must have secured sufficient funds to cover their agreement with the client for a period of at least 36 months
  • The funder cannot terminate their agreement with the client without a permissible reason by law
  • The funder cannot interfere with the case
Furthermore, because in such an arrangement the solicitor acts on behalf of the client and not the funder, it’s unlikely that they would allow the client to enter into funding agreement with a third party who is not a member of the ALF or a subscriber to the code of conduct.

However, it’s always good to be vigilant and there are a number of ways for businesses to protect themselves against entering an underhand agreement. A client should always ensure that they know the source and liquidity of the funds pledged.

Finally, though the funder is not allowed to have any control over the case, it’s a good idea to make sure that you and your solicitor share common values with the company, to ensure that all parties are able to work effectively together.

This article was contributed by Laura Moulden on behalf of Vannin Capital, a specialist litigation funding provider. For more information on how litigation funding works, visit the website :

Monday, February 18, 2013

Climbing Out of the Debt Hole

Acknowledging debt is a hard step to take, requiring a lot of courage followed by a very deep breath. But it’s only half the job. The rest of the problem is paying at least some, or all of the money you owe, back. Unless you are very lucky to stumble upon, win, inherit, or steal a large sum of money (that last one is not recommended), you’ll have to start on the long road of making repayments and with a constant squeeze on living standards, it is tough. It is not impossible, however...


This is where it starts. Without the right “can-do”, attitude it will always be a vertical climb that looks impossible. If the sheer size of your debt scares you into catatonia, breaking your debt down into manageable milestones could be what gets you moving. This is particularly positive when your personal finances are restricted in the first place, making belt tightening all the more difficult.
Let’s say you have a debt of (insert number here). Instead of thinking about where you’re going to get the magic number from, think about where you’re going to get the next £100 or £500 from to pay down the bill. The number you choose must be one you’re comfortable with; one you think is possible for you to obtain.

From Apathy to Action

Now that you have set some manageable targets, you can start taking action towards achieving them. Sounds cheesy, doesn’t it? Don’t let that be a reason for you to disengage with the simple fact that if you don’t start making money; your debt will only grow. Creditors understanding only lasts as long as they money is coming in.

Clearing Out

We’re all surrounded by stuff; the accumulation of money spent on ideas that led nowhere and dreams that, for one reason or another, were abandoned and left to gather dust. It’s time to make use of the thing you don’t use by selling them. Amazon, Ebay and car boot sales are all great. Choose whichever you’re most comfortable with. Some items, like musical instruments, will do better in private sales. It’s worth getting a valuation before you advertise.

Unusual Opportunities

There are opportunities everywhere, if you’re open to them: the door-to-door salesman who likes your attitude and offers you a part time job (it happened to me); the friend that needs a problem solving or something fixing and will pay for a good job done; an advert requesting healthy volunteers for paid medical trials (companies like GSK will pay up to £2000 per trial for up to four trials a year). All of these opportunities are out there and should be utilised.

Broader Horizons

Perhaps you really are worth more than you think. Perhaps it’s time you had a pay rise. Perhaps there’s a better job out there with your name on it. If your current situation makes it impossible for you to live without getting further and further into debt, change your situation; look for a better job, look abroad. Don’t let your apathy keep you in debt.

Climbing Out of the Debt Hole contributed by Sally Shaws.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Getting married? Here’s how to reduce the costs

Let’s face it, weddings are expensive. Everything from the dress to the venue costs money, but there are ways to throw a fanciful occasion without breaking the bank. That’s right, with a bit of clever organisation you can reduce costs significantly – so take a look at these five handy tips.

Reduce the amount your borrow

Tying the knot is a special event, but you don’t want to walk down the aisle knee-deep in debt. That’s why it’s essential to keep your borrowing costs to a minimum. If you do apply for a credit card or loan, make sure the interest rate is as low as possible to avoid unnecessary fees. Many banking groups offer great promotions for a set period of time and rates of 0 per cent can come in useful.

Choose the right venue

Whether you’re looking for a romantic town house or a stylish country venue – it’s important to shop around. A Downton Abbey-esque mansion might seem appealing, but it could cost five times as much as a hotel setting, so be aware. If you have something specific in mind (like getting married in a castle), see what’s available, but always keep an open mind. Find out what’s included in each package and always read the small print to avoid unexpected charges.

Think second hand

If you’re a little strapped for cash (or simply don’t want to spend a fortune on clothes), why not look for second hand items? Most people only wear their wedding dress once and keep them in a pristine condition, so you’re bound to find something lovely. Charities such as The British Red Cross and Oxfam have plenty of styles and you might even come across a designer frock or two. If you want a brand new gown, be prepared to pay a bit more and alter your budget accordingly.

Think carefully about the date

Did you know that weekend weddings are more expensive? Saturdays and Sundays can hike up the cost of your do, so it’s well-worth going off-peek. Sure, many people work from Monday through to Friday, but if you give them enough notice, they can book the day off in good time. What’s more, if you’re not desperate for a summer wedding, it’s wise to get married in winter. As this is a relatively unpopular season for marriages, venues, chauffeurs and DJs are often cheaper, helping your money go further.

Keep your wedding short and sweet

If you’ve been to an all-day wedding, you’ll know they don’t really need to be that long. Everyone feels a bit sleepy by the evening, so try keeping yours short and sweet. Spend the morning getting ready and have the ceremony late afternoon. If the wedding meal is served at around five or six, you might not have to put on an evening buffet – which will certainly cut costs. Also, if you only hire a venue for half the day, you might get a reduced price, so it’s definitely good to ask!

Everything from taking out a low interest credit card to selecting the right venue can improve the cost of your wedding, so don’t overspend when you don’t have to.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What To Look For When Choosing A Binary Options Trading Platform

Anyone who has been involved in the world of investment in recent years will no doubt have heard about the rise in prominence of binary options trading platforms. These provide an new and innovative trading solution whereby an investor can make profits from speculating on the outcome of a price movement of a financial asset. It has become a popular way in which to trade for many reasons, including the ease with which new traders can pick it up and get started. However to make the most from trading with binary contracts you will not only need to know how to read the markets. You will also need to know how to select the best dealing platform on which to trade. Here I take a look at some of the key things you should look out for to help improve your trading prospects.


Top of the list when you are investigating a Binary Options trading platforms should be the level of profitability that it offers you. There will be a difference in the way that payouts are calculated across different platforms and therefore it is vital that you take some time to find those brokers who will offer you the best return for your particular trading needs. Add in the fact that some brokers will also offer you a rebate on contacts that you place which end 'out of the money' and you will find there is plenty to consider when making your decision. However you should not just go for the broker with the highest payout as you will also need to factor in some other factors when making your ultimate decision.


While a high payout is welcome, you also need both accuracy and reliability form the trading platform so that you can earn this. There is little point in receiving a high profit on your winning contracts if the reliability of your broker's platform means you frequently miss getting in on positions at the right price. With this in mind you should check out the websites of any brokers that you intend to trade with and find out from other traders about their reliability. This is particularly important when markets are moving quickly as this likely to be the time when you will be most concerned about accessing your account and having your orders processed.

Account Functions

So that you can manage your account effectively the platform should offer an easy to use software interface and effective management facilities. These will make it easy to manage your account, run reports and also deposit and withdraw funds. Most modern trading platforms for binary options will provide full automation to allow you to carry out these functions, making the running of your account straightforward. Also consider the various payment options that are provided by the account. This will vary widely with different systems offering separate payment options. To make money from trading with digital options you will need a good strategy. This may be based in technical or fundamental analysis. It doesn't really matter as long as the strategy that you make use of works for you. No matter what approach you use your trading will benefit from a good binary options trading platform. Therefore before you open a trading account it will pay to spend some time looking at all of the different platforms that are on offer. In the longer term you will be glad that you did. Guest post supplied by top contributor Phil Moore from BinaryOptionsProfits.

You can find out more information about trading with Binary options by visiting his website at

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Claiming Back PPI: A Step by Step Guide

With the well-publicised PPI scandal continuing to grow with the help of the UK media, now is a perfect time to jump on the bandwagon and claim back any mis-sold PPI that you have been landed with over the past several years. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t even need to have the relevant paperwork to hand – with bank records, you can find PPI solutions with ease.

But where do you start? The FSA have instructed banks to send letters to their victims of mis-sold PPI in an effort to right their wrongs, with an expected 4 to 12million being sent in total . The director of the FSA purports that only one in ten will respond to these letters though, urging people to consider their eligibility to claim back PPI.

If you are one of those consumers that the banks know about, you may have already received one of these letters – if not, you can expect one soon. However, many individuals that believe they have a case won’t have any correspondence, because the banks aren’t aware of everyone affected, making it all the more important to take the initiative to begin a claim yourself.

First and foremost, make sure that you have a valid claim, rather than taking a punt on something you know won’t end in compensation. You are only entitled to claim back PPI if it was mis-sold to you. If it was added to your financial agreement without it being made aware to you, added as an extra monthly payment that you didn’t agree to, or it was claimed to be a mandatory condition of the loan approval (even though it wasn’t), you have the grounds to complain.

Rummage through your previous loan agreements in your archived files. If you have disposed of any paperwork, don’t worry – you are still entitled to claim. Check your credit report to see what loans or credit cards you have taken out over the past few years.

Once you have established that you have a claim, you can either apply directly to the bank if you feel you are capable to do so, or you can take the hassle out of the process by using the expertise of a specialist claim management company. These professionals do all the legwork for you and ensure that your claim is handled efficiently.

Last year, £1.9bn was paid out to successful claimants , but this figure is expected to skyrocket over the coming months and years. Some industry insiders suggest the figure will fly up to £25bn , with banks putting more and more money aside for their compensation payments. The FOS has also hired another 1000 caseworkers to work specifically on PPI claims , emphasising the amount of claims expected in due course.

Are you a victim of mis-sold PPI? If you are, bite the bit and go for it. If you don’t try, you won’t get and with a compliant claims management company, the process couldn’t be easier.