Harbour Underwriting partners with GS Group to provide After the Event (ATE) insurance to Scottish lawyers

4 October 2021

Harbour Underwriting has partnered with one of Scotland’s leading insurance brokers, GS Group, to provide an ATE insurance service to Scottish law firms. The service will enable Scottish law firms to procure ATE insurance through Harbour Underwriting using GS Group as broker.

ATE insurance enables both claimants and defendants in commercial disputes to mitigate the risk of having to pay the other side’s costs if they lose the case and allows them to litigate from a more secure position.

Both Harbour Underwriting and GS Group recognise the need for ATE insurance in Scotland due to the growing number of commercial disputes post-Brexit and post-pandemic.

Solicitors’ professional obligations in England and Wales have changed in recent years and an adequate professional service will necessarily involve providing the client with advice as to the availability of ATE insurance in contemplation of litigation. These obligations have similar application in Scotland.

In addition to this, strict rules apply when a solicitor gives a client a personal recommendation for a contract of insurance. They should only do so if they have analysed a sufficiently large number of insurance contracts available on the market.

Harbour Underwriting’s managing director Sharon Brown says:

“Many solicitors we speak to feel that the obligation to analyse the insurance market before recommending a contract of insurance is unduly onerous given the amount of time and work involved. Instead, they choose to refer their client to a reputable insurance broker who can advise them accordingly.

“We have known GS Group for many years and are delighted to partner with them to provide Scottish lawyers with a process that will speed up and simplify the sourcing of ATE insurance in commercial disputes.”

GS Group’s managing director George Stubbs says:

“This partnership with Harbour Underwriting comes at a perfect time for the Scottish legal market as we are seeing an increase in commercial disputes coincide with a sharp growth in litigation funding and ATE insurance in Scottish commercial litigation cases.

“We are now able to offer a best of breed ATE commercial insurance product through our alliance with Harbour Underwriting. It makes it easier than ever for Scottish lawyers to advise their clients about ATE insurance and to have cover put in place through a broker with expert knowledge of the product and exclusive access to a reputable insurer in Harbour Underwriting.”

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