How do I pay my legal fees when my ex has all the money? – Nigel Shepherd

Nigel Shepherd for Smart Divorce

In this episode, Tamsin speaks to Ampla Finance’s Nigel Shepherd. They discuss the options around paying your legal fees on divorce or civil partnership dissolution, when you don’t have the money but your ex does. 


Nigel brings over 40 years of family law experience to Ampla, being the only person to have twice chaired family justice association Resolution and with extensive experience as a solicitor, collaborative family practitioner and financial arbitrator. In 2019, Nigel was awarded the prestigious Cornwell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Family Law and in 2022 the Manchester Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

https://amplafinance.com


Tamsin is a Chartered Financial Planner with over 20 years experience. She works with couples and individuals who are at the end of a relationship and want agree how to divide their assets FAIRLY without a fight.

You can contact Tamsin at tamsin@smartdivorce.co.uk or arrange a free initial meeting using https://calendly.com/tamsin-caine/15min. She is also part of the team running Facebook group Separation, Divorce and Dissolution UK

Tamsin Caine MSc., FPFS
Chartered Financial Planner
Smart Divorce Ltd
https://smartdivorce.co.uk

P.S. I am the co-author of “My Divorce Handbook – It’s What You Do Next That Counts”, written by divorce specialists and lawyers writing about their area of expertise to help walk you through the divorce process. You can buy it by scanning the QR code…

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Transcript

(The transcript has been created by an AI, apologies for any mistakes)

Tamsin Caine 0:06
Hello, and welcome to this Smart Divorce Podcast. I’m Tamsin Caine and I will be your host during this our series six of the podcast. We’re delighted that you’re joining us again, and hope that you really enjoy today’s episode. During series 6 we’ll be speaking to other divorce professionals who help in perhaps some of the more unusual ways. So we will be speaking to lawyers who deal with international divorce. We will be speaking child inclusive mediation, to name a few. I really hope that you enjoy today’s episode. Let’s jump right in. Hello, and I’m delighted to be joined this morning by Nigel Shepherd! Nigel is going to introduce himself because his list of job titles are numerous. Good morning, Nigel, how are you doing?

Nigel Shepherd 1:03
Well, morning Tamsin, I’m very well, how are you?

Tamsin Caine 1:05
Excellent. Yeah, I’m very well, thank you really appreciate you joining us this morning. As I say you have many hats that you’ve worn over over the past and continue to wear. So I’ll hand over to you for you to introduce yourself to our listeners today.

Nigel Shepherd 1:22
Yes, thanks, James in the farm. I’m Nigel shepherd. I am a strategic advisor for Angela finance. And we’ll go on and talk a little bit about what that does. I’m also a consultant and family law arbitrator with national practice mills and Reeve based out of Manchester that, you know, around the country. And those are my two if you like professional jobs, I have other hats that I wear, I’m still involved with the family justice organisation resolution in a more limited capacity that I have been in the past, I’ve been very heavily involved as national chair a couple of times. And as a national committee member for approximately 30 years. I think so I’ve just stepped back from that. So I think they call it a portfolio career now.

Tamsin Caine 2:07
Indeed, indeed, I think that means you can do lots of different things and not spend too much time doing one thing. So that’s all good. So you’re joining us today to talk about litigation, finance and amplify finance in particular. And our listeners may not know what litigation financing is. So can we start with that? Could you tell us a bit about what it is and how it works?

Nigel Shepherd 2:34
In very simple terms. It provides funding for people who are going through family law proceedings. So through your solicitors, who are partners with amplify finance, you can apply for a loan to cover your legal fees, which is then repaid out of the settlement that you get. And that’s basically it. It’s it’s to help people who otherwise couldn’t find their case, to get the representation they need and the quality advice that they need. Often where their partner is able to fund it, but they’re not. And it’s about just the quality of representation to make sure that you get the advice you need to get a fair settlement

Tamsin Caine 3:20
Excellent! How how does the process work around? If we if we start from the beginning, so going to see a solicitor and the solicitor says this is this is what it’s going to cost you per hour or this is roughly what it’s gonna cost you overall. How does that how does the process then work around getting the litigation finance applying, etc.

Nigel Shepherd 3:46
You’ll meet your family law solicitor is the first important part of the conversation that they have is, you know, are you able to afford the advice because obviously that needs to be funded. If you can’t, or you’ve got a limited amount of funds and that doesn’t look like it’s going to cover the whole cost of what’s anticipated what an option is to borrow from somebody like amplify finance. The firm that you are with has to be partnered with a litigation funder that’s that’s just an arrangement which means that they have access to the systems. Your your family law will talk to you about the process and application will be made. You will be asked to have independent legal advice nearly all litigation funders ask you to get independent legal advice. Without that that’s done through a panel if you want it you can choose and that’s all set up independently from your solicitor. If the application is approved. Once you’ve had the financial advice, the loan goes live. And each time your solicitor bills you which most firms will bill Bill monthly during the course of a case. Our approach at Amkor is that the You get notification of what that bill is, you can access it on your phone or your tablet or whatever. But once you’ve approved that, and you’ve said that you’re satisfied with the way it’s going that money then get sent to your solicitor to pay that bill. And at the end of the case, when you receive your your financial settlement, the loan is repaid. And that’s how the process works. So it enables you, it takes the pressure off you, obviously, it still has to be repaid. But it means that you can get the advice that you need. And it’s really important because previously legal aid was was available to people, but from about 2013, that effectively got scrapped in the majority of cases, still get it into the domestic abuse element to your case. But for a lot of people, they simply haven’t got access to the farms. And this is a way to make sure that they they get the advice, and I’ve got the best chance of getting a fair settlement.

Tamsin Caine 5:56
Yeah, absolutely. So would amplify and that’s all you know, I believe there are the litigation. I’m not actually on the BBC. But suppose I should mention that. Are you looking are amplifying that’s looking and saying? Well, we would expect there to be sufficient enough settlement to repay X amount? And is there a limit on the amount that amplifying that will lend based on what they would expect the settlements potentially be?

Nigel Shepherd 6:30
Some of the key thing is that the camera will be relying and discussing with your lawyer what’s involved in the case? Absolutely right. The most important thing for us as a business is that we lend responsibly and fairly, we want to make sure that if you’re borrowing through ampler, you’re able to repay it. And that’s absolutely critical, because otherwise you’d be left with a debt that you can’t repay. And that’s not responsible lending from from anybody. So yeah, we need to be clear on what the outcome is likely to be. Now, that’s not precise. That’s not a precise art. But generally speaking, we need the outcome to be sort of 30% what we call loan to value. So if you’re borrowing 30,000 pounds, we need to be looking at a settlement that’s 100,000 pounds or more. And to the second level, your question is there is no limit to what we can lend. We’ve got a lower limit for our business. That’s not the same for all litigation funders, which is 10,000 pounds. There’s no upper limit. And we have approved loans in very complex cases and long running cases of over a million pounds. And it could be higher. We’re fortunate in the sense that we’re backed by a private equity business, which means that access to funds isn’t a problem for Ambler, as long as the criteria for the case are met. And it’s important on that point that that it has to be a UK family law case in England, to be precise in England and Wales family law case. And you need to be as a borrower, you need to be UK resident and have certain residential criteria around that. So it’s, it’s, it’s based in this jurisdiction. And there are other there are other factors, but those are the key ones.

Tamsin Caine 8:17
Okay. And as it’s called litigation, finance, rather than divorce, finance or dissolution of civil partnership, finance, I’m assuming that there therefore needs to be an element of the court being involved as opposed to it being an arbitration case or settle to mediation.

Nigel Shepherd 8:39
No, we call it litigation funding as a shorthand that actually, we can lend for any financial case, even in mediation, or arbitration or through collaborative law. That the key to it is there has to be a what we call a route to repayment. So we have to see at the end of the day, that the money is going to come in to enable you to repay your loan. The reality is, of course, that in arbitration, you get a decision, and it’s going to be a binding decision subject to sort of fairly narrow grounds of appeal. In Collaborative and mediation, it’s about reaching your own agreement, and if you don’t, and that that process or B breaks down, you will end up in court. So litigation funding is is an overarching term but no we will end on on other kinds of processes. We will also lend on children proceedings, if they’re kind of running alongside the main financial thing. But of course in children proceedings, there’s no money coming in as a result of that. So there has to be a financial case primarily to enable the loan to be repaid.

Tamsin Caine 9:56
Okay, so the loan can be used to pay the lawyer is in the children bit. But there has to, you have to be able to see that there’s going to be a financial settlement at the end of it

Nigel Shepherd 10:07
..Speaking, the key part of the lending, the majority of the lending would usually usually want to see that for the finances, just because that that is where the repayment comes from.

Tamsin Caine 10:21
So yeah, that makes sense. And what about so I know if I go to a bank, borrow money to buy a car, for example, they’re going to want repayments on a monthly basis? How does how does litigation finance work? From that perspective? Are there going to be monthly repayments as we go along?

Nigel Shepherd 10:43
The short answer is no. It is repaid at the end of the day out of the settlement. Obviously, the loan attracts interest, that interest rate varies through providers. Generally speaking in the kind of market that we’re in, you’re talking sort of 14% to 18%. For normal cases, more complex cases, you may find the funding it the interest rates a little bit higher. You The crucial thing is you only pay interest on what is actually drawn down on the loan. So if you separate your case, after three months, and you’ve only had three monthly bills from your solicitors, even though you might have asked for a facility of 50,000, if you’ve only used 15,000, you’ll only pay interest on that.

Tamsin Caine 11:33
Okay? That makes sense. And isn’t it though No, no monthly payments, the interest rolls off and you pay you pay the whatever is owed capital and interest all at the end.

Nigel Shepherd 11:43
That’s right. I mean, providers do vary sometimes on on how this works. So most have an arrangement fee. At the beginning, the legal advice that that that takes up that’s rolled up into the loan, the independent legal advice for us is, is is the only thing that you as a borrower would be asked to pay yourself with antlers. That’s a very competitive rich 250 pounds plus VAT if you choose one of our panel providers. And they take you through all of that and deal with that and sign a certificate to say that you’ve had that advice before the loan goes live. That’s the only bit that you pay upfront, if you like the rest is all part of the loan

Tamsin Caine 12:24
Yeah, and I guess that’s important because you need to understand what you’re committing to and what you’re signing up to and what this this is all about. What about so we talked about the settlement bid, the amount you borrow being around about 30% of what the settlement might be at the end as a maximum? What about if that settlement is all in pensions? I’m assuming that’s not going to work for ampler? Unless it’s a case that the clients are already kind of over 55? Would if I got that right or?

Nigel Shepherd 13:00
Yeah, that is right. I mean, it has to be realisable assets. So you’re quite right. If this, if you can draw on the pension, and you can take the lump sum out of the pension, that could be a route to repayment, we would want to be really responsible about that, though. And the reality is that if it was purely pension, pension is there as you’re very well known in your role as a top financial advisor in this in this field, the pension is there to provide for your retirement. And, you know, we would want to be absolutely clear if you were using that to repay the loan that that wasn’t going to leave you short later on in your life, because that would be irresponsible to lend. So generally speaking, we’re looking at settlements of cash or investments, often a property that that you know, is going to be sold. So it’s a realisable investments really that you can see where the router repayment comes from

Tamsin Caine 13:57
It’s a tricky job from this perspective of trying to trying to juggle the settlement and what to lend isn’t it?

Nigel Shepherd 14:05
Yeah, as I say it is about being fair. And our ultimate responsibility is to the person borrowing the money. We work with our partners in law firms, we rely on discuss with them and trust them in terms of the the advice that they’re giving. My role as an advisor, part of that role is to look at the more complex legal cases where there’s maybe there’s trusts or there’s a business and we want to understand how the case is going to work and how the settlement is going to work in terms of you know, of how the revenue is going to be repaid. A lot of cases there is a property it’s property based, you know, for example, it’s the home that you live in with your department that you’re getting divorced from or separating from and it’s going to be sold. You know what the equity in it broadly is and you know that there’s enough coverage there to make sure that it can be repaid

Tamsin Caine 15:00
Absolutely. Is there a point at which? Because obviously you’ve, you’ve agreed? This is the most we’re willing to lend? Do you sometimes find that cases get kind of almost to conclusion, but not quite there? And, and there’s not. And they’ve not borrowed enough to get them to the gets them to the endpoint. How does that work?

Nigel Shepherd 15:24
That’s a really good question. And something that amplifying that says that not all providers house is what we call a rolling account, credit agreement. Now, what that means is, let’s just say that on your 30% loan to value we could lend you or your through your solicitors, 100,000 pounds for the case. Initially, you actually only want a facility of 50,000 pounds, because you think your lawyers think that’s enough to get you through. So there’s the headroom as you like will be 100, that you only get a facility at the outset of 50. If it turns out that that is not going to be enough, because something unexpected happens or it takes longer. As long as we know that we could have done 100 At the beginning, we can then lend you more without having to rewrite the whole loan. And that’s quite important because rewriting the loan, it’s a new loan application a new fee. That’s how some providers work. We don’t because as long as we know that, that that headroom is there initially, we can increase it if need be, get over and above the original facility that you actually choose.

Tamsin Caine 16:31
Okay, so like if I was going to buy a house, and I went and got an agreement, in principle, they tell you, this is the maximum you can be can borrow. And you say, Well, I’m only buying this house at the minute, so I need less than that. In then you do that. And then that house falls through and you go for one that’s more expensive is the same sort of thing. You’re you’re able to to extend the burrow into it.

Nigel Shepherd 16:55
Yeah, it just means that you don’t have to, to make a new application. And it’s about, it’s about underwriting and technical terms. The extension doesn’t have to be re underwritten. You know, because we know that if as long as nothing else has changed with the case, and we do ask our partner, solicitor firms to keep us updated, we try and make sure we let them get on with the job because that’s what they do for their clients. But we have responsibility to check that things have not changed, and that the original route to repayment hasn’t become compromised. But apart from that we we trust our firms, and we let them get on with it.

Tamsin Caine 17:35
So and the partner firms, did they give an indication initially as to how they, this must be really difficult to do, but how they anticipate the case going in terms of the length of time and the amount of money in legal fees that it’s likely to require.

Nigel Shepherd 17:56
You know, a good family lawyer or good family lawyers will budget and talk through that budget with you as the client. And that will be done at a very early stage, you scope it, it’s not always possible, of course to say exactly, you can’t say exactly what’s going to happen. But you know, you look at what’s involved in the case. You look at the assets, you look at the way that you’re going to try and negotiate a settlement and the processes that mediation is collaborative in arbitration, and you do a budget, and that budget will form the basis of the loan application. And we will discuss so the solicitors make an application, they can upload a spreadsheet with the assets on it very much that that application, which is done through a portal, it’s all done online through a portal. That application has a series of questions to take the semester to 20 minutes to complete. But it will include values and then our underwriters use that to assess the loan to value and the route to repayment. And as I say if it becomes complex, I might go on to a phone call or a zoom call with a solicitor and say just just talk me through how have you seen the strategy on this? You know, what, what’s happening and where does that end up? So yeah, very much that conversation. That’s a key part of the process.

Tamsin Caine 19:16
That sounds very much like even though there’s a portal that they’re uploading information on to that it’s not a computer saying no, it’s a human the other side of it actually doing the underwriting and looking at the case.

Nigel Shepherd 19:28
Absolutely. Absolutely. We take the information, we assess it. We have our own internal processes to make sure that we it’s a heavily regulated sector this by the FCA as you all know, so, you know, we don’t have willy nilly this is this is a proper process. And as I say it’s about responsible and fair lending. And we want to make sure if we lend it, that it can be repaid and we’re not leaving people with a debt that they can’t repay. So that promises is the Very good. Sure it’s detailed. And then it goes to a loans committee that makes the decision. But we do try to push that through really quickly. So what we did as a business is we wanted to try and make the process as stress free for the solicitors as possible. Because if they’re spending time on the admin on it, that’s something that is there may be passed on to the borrower to the client. And you know, what you want is the financing placing get on with the job and get started with doing the the important work towards getting a fair settlement?

Tamsin Caine 20:35
Yeah, absolutely. That this might be a this is a question, I genuinely have absolutely no idea what the answer is. So I’m going to ask it. If If a case needs expert input, so business valuations or a pension actuary, for example, can the litigation finance be used for for paying those sorts of costs as well? Or is that completely separate?

Nigel Shepherd 21:03
No, absolutely. Absolutely. That was part of the cost of the case. When we say legal fees, or winging this legal fees for your solicitor, but it’s also what are known as disbursement. So it’s also payment for independent experts absolutely critical. It’s whatever it takes to get the case through to its conclusion and to get you a fair settlement. So yeah, accountants, pensions reports, property valuations are key to anything that anything that is involved in the running as the case throughout.

Tamsin Caine 21:36
Good to know. Excellent. I like that. And is that I’m thinking about you’ve got, you’ve got one person who’s perhaps they needing litigation finance, because they don’t have the funds that in, in a bank account to use and you’ve got the other person who, clearly by the very fact that person A is using litigation, finance, person B has accessible funds, or there’s money somewhere available, that that will be there at the settlement of the fund? Is there any way of kind of balancing the legal fees on both sides so that the person requiring litigation finance doesn’t end up having a considerably lower settlement? Because they’ve ended up having to use some of their settlement for repayment of the finances that? Am I? Am I living in dream world?

Nigel Shepherd 22:28
No. That’s a really, really interesting question, which goes to the kind of case in a divorce case, he was talking about finances on divorce, they broadly fall into two kinds of cases. A case that’s based on the principle of sharing, and a case that’s based on the principle of needs. So sharing cases where there’s more than enough money to go around. And the principle, the starting point, if you like is that the assets that have been built up during the marriage are shared equally. If it’s that kind of case, then those assets will be after debts have been repaid.

Tamsin Caine 23:11
So okay,

Nigel Shepherd 23:13
When you when you’re doing an asset shedule, your solicitor will draw up the assets shared, you’ll have a look at the assets on the one hand, and you have a look at the debts or liabilities on the other. And borrowing for your legal costs will be a liability that you would expect to be taken off the balance sheet before you get to a net figure, which is then shared.

Tamsin Caine 23:32
Okay, good. case,

Nigel Shepherd 23:35
in a nice case. And there may be good reasons for this, for example, where a lot of the money in the marriage is being inherited or gifted, or other sort of quite complex reasons where you’re looking actually at a settlement, which meets the needs of the person that’s making the application for housing, for maintenance, that maintenance may be paid off by an additional cash payment on top of the housing need, even then, you would expect borrowing to be repaid before the needs are met. Because otherwise you’d be eating into the sun that has been assessed as being needed for your needs. And that would be the same whether or not you owed the money to your solicitors at the end of the day, rather than to an independent third party provider like ampler, or whether you owed it to your parents or a bank. Having said that, if you borrow from family, there’s always a risk that the court will think that’s not that’s not what we call a hard debt. Maybe they’ll let you off it. And that’s actually a good, isn’t it?

Tamsin Caine 24:41
It’s a soft loan thing.

Nigel Shepherd 24:43
Let’s just say you borrow the money from your parents and there’s a there’s a document in place that says you have to repay. If push comes to shove, there’s always a risk that if something needs to give it might be that that gives because they’re going to think well your parents aren’t going to sue for the money if you don’t pay it We find ourselves lending to people whose parents might be prepared to lend the money. But actually, they want to be sure that this will be treated as a proper commercial loan that is clearly repayable. And so you don’t have that risk.

Tamsin Caine 25:16
Absolutely. You want to kind of avoid your parents borrowing to lend the money in those circumstances, don’t you? Because you would be better off borrowing the money itself rather than remembering it?

Nigel Shepherd 25:29
Yeah, I mean, obviously, you wouldn’t expect your parents to charge us commercial rate of interest. So, you know, your family law, we’ll talk through the funding options. We don’t see litigation funding as sort of boring of last resort. But quite clearly, if you can get access to money without having to pay interest, you’re going to look at it seriously. But it’s not just whether or not that debt might be treated as properly repayable. In my practice, as a family lawyer, over the years, I’ve seen a number of cases where people have been funded by their parents. But actually, the parents then feel that that gives them a right to become much more involved in the running of the case, then you as the person getting divorced would be comfortable with. So it does getting an independent loan combined you that distance and objectivity that can be compromised by borrowing from family.

Tamsin Caine 26:27
Sure, absolutely. Okay. So we’ve talked about the options. I know, obviously, you’re here to talk about the litigation funders. But we’ve talked about borrowing from family having the money obviously available yourself directly. What Are there any other options? If you’ve, if you divorcing somebody who, who has access to money?

Nigel Shepherd 26:52
Yes. The short answer is that if you can’t get the money from anywhere else, you can make an application to the court for what’s called a sort of litigation funding order. And that is an order which means that the person the other person in the divorce actually funds your legal fees. Now, one of the key criteria for being able to get an order from the court is that you’ve tried to get that ordering from an independent source. And generally speaking, you have to get sort of two rejection letters from somebody like me or another litigation funder to be able to say to the court, I’ve tried to get the money from somewhere else I can’t, and therefore, I really need my, my spouse to fund this for me, and the court order around that has various rules around it. It certainly is very heavily budgeted. Normally, it’ll often only take you up to a certain stage in the proceedings, and then you have to come back and ask for more. But that is that that is the other option. If the ability of your your spouse is there

Tamsin Caine 28:01
Is that an option if your finance from your litigation finance runs out and there isn’t that extra space?

Nigel Shepherd 28:11
Yes. Yes. So if you if if you’re able to fund it up to a certain volume, but then you can’t continue, at that point, you can make a legal services order application.

Tamsin Caine 28:24
Wow. Okay. And have I not covered anything that I should have should have covered? Are there any aspects of of litigation finance that I should have asked you that that I haven’t?

Nigel Shepherd 28:37
I think that just one other thing is that that if the if the loan to value the headroom, if you like between the settlement and what you’re borrowing is there ampler. And some of the providers will also be able, in the right kind of case to lend what we call means Maintenance Loan elements. So for example, in addition to your legal fees, if you’ve got school fees to pay for something else, something essential to pay for, you can borrow that as well. But that that’s after the legal fees. So if there’s only enough to cover the legal fees, you can’t use it for anything else. The critical thing is that you’re able to pay your legal fees and get the advice that you need. So that Maintenance Loan is an option that really doesn’t get used that often but is there and can be can be learned,

Tamsin Caine 29:28
Useful to know useful to know that it’s there that that’s that’s an added bonus, isn’t it? and amplify, Lance lend in other ways other than just in family proceedings as well, I believe.

Nigel Shepherd 29:42
Yeah. We have another key product, which is for our legacy product which has two limbs. Its first of all available to executors of estates when somebody has died, who have to pay the tax before the money has come in from the assets in the estate. So it’s a break effectively a bridge loan for that. And we also have a beneficiary loan. So if you’re the beneficiary in an estate and you’re, for example due to receive proceeds from the sale of the house, but you want to access cash before the house is sold, will lend on that as well. And we’re also developing other products in other fields. So ampere as a business is not just about family, it’s it’s about funding in various cases that might particular my particular day to day role is primarily focused on the family, which is why I’m talking about it on your divorce podcast.

Tamsin Caine 30:35
Absolutely. And obviously, is the reason that we asked you to come in, come and talk to us today. Because those, how am I going to pay for my legal fees is is is often a problem, certainly, amongst the clients that I tend to work with who tend to be the person who hasn’t looked after the money. And so their spouse may well be absolutely fine in paying their lawyers and barristers and getting all sorts of people involved in and my clients are sitting scratching their heads wondering how on earth, how on earth they move forward, I suppose. One, one other question is we talked about this finance being available for clients going through mediation, but we’ve also talked about it being available through family lawyers, rather than through mediators, is it available through mediator, so it does tend to be arranged by family lawyers who are also mediators?

Nigel Shepherd 31:32
It has to be arranged through the firm of solicitors. Now, if you’re if you’re if your mediator is mediating as a family lawyer within a firm, then it would be available. But our but our partner agreement, if you like, is with his with firms and their firms that we trust and understand because we’ve got, the important thing is we have to understand how the case is going to work. But the solicitors point of view, there’s no recourse on them. So if you as a borrower end up for some reason, unexpectedly not being able to repay the loan, we don’t, we can’t come after the solicitors for it. So it’s very important that that’s why it’s so important that our primary focus is on responsible lending and lending in the right circumstances for the right cases. And then also our relationship with our partners is crucial to that. And important to that. But at the end of the day, their primary responsibility is to use you as the borrower, if you like the client,

Tamsin Caine 32:35
Of course, so if you are considering mediation, or or you’d like to work through things through mediation, I guess it’s going to see a Family Lawyer first and talk about the options in terms of funding the case. And then and then perhaps immediate.

Nigel Shepherd 32:53
I think in practical terms, mediation is a voluntary process. Collaborative Practice is a voluntary process. In the vast majority of those cases, you wouldn’t you’d expect how that mediation or that collaborative process is to be funded to be part of the initial agreement before you go into it. So it’d be quite unusual to have to use those funds for that arbitration is different. Because arbitration gets you a decision. It isn’t about you agreeing, it’s a decision from an arbitrator as an independent, private judge, if you like. And that’s, that’s the equivalent to being in court. It’s just that you’re in arbitration instead of being caught much better process of dignified lots of pluses to it. But it’s different in that respect to collaborative and mediation, and there’s an outcome and a binding outcome to it. But as a collaborative mediation, you’d expect to how it’s to be painful to be part of the agreement before you enter into it. So I don’t think actually we have listened to one. It’s just we can do if it’s a cut.

Tamsin Caine 33:56
Yeah, absolutely. If anybody wants any further information about arbitration, there’s a podcast in series one, with Reese Taylor, having a conversation about arbitration. If you do want any further information on that. And Nigel, I’ve come to the end of my questions. Have I covered everything?

Nigel Shepherd 34:17
I think you have it’s been they’ve been quite comprehensive. It’s, it’s been a pleasure to talk through it. As I say litigation funding is a really, really important option to make sure that people can get proper advice and actually get a fair settlement. The last thing you want when you’ve got the stress of a separation or a divorce, you’re trying to get through this. The last thing you want is the added stress of simply not being able to pay the fees, and that’s what mitigation funding gives you the peace of mind to do.

Tamsin Caine 34:50
Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. And it’s good to hear about the option that that’s available and and how it works because as with all of these things, there are They’re always tales and rumours about how they work so it’s good to hear it directly from from myself on that so massively appreciate you joining us today Nigel thank you so much!

I hope you enjoyed the episode of the Smart Divorce podcast. If you would like to get in touch please have a look in the show notes for our details or go onto the website www.smartdivorce.co.uk. Also if you are listening on Apple podcasts or on Spotify and you wouldn’t mind leaving us a lovely five star review. That would be fantastic. I know that lots of our listeners are finding this is incredibly helpful in their journey through separation divorce and dissolving a civil partnership. Also, if you would like some further support, we do have Facebook group now. It’s called ‘Separation divorce and dissolution UK.’ Please do go on to Facebook, search up the group and we’d be delighted to have you join us. The one thing I would say is do please answer their membership questions. Okay, have a great day and take care!

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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