Plaintiff Funding – Managing Client Expectations
Plaintiff funding, while seemingly a straightforward concept, can be confusing to clients especially when they are presented with unfamiliar financial terminology and complex contracts. When there is confusion, there is a higher likelihood of unmet expectations.
Most grievances about plaintiff funding costs occur when plaintiffs are surprised at the cost of the advance upon settlement. Clients could feel misled about the costs if they were presented one thing and the actual costs end up being something different. Such surprises are a direct result of deceptive marketing practices by certain plaintiff funding companies that intentionally muddle their contracts so that the actual costs of the plaintiff advances end up being higher than what is presented. In such instances, plaintiff funding terms can look significantly different on the surface than they do in the fine print.
The simplest way to keep clients satisfied and fully informed with the funding experience is to make the repayment terms crystal clear–with all costs and expenses disclosed and explained prior to the client agreeing to terms. A funding table, where the entire advance and amount owed at settlement is displayed, is the ideal form of disclosure. However, while some funding companies do utilize the funding table as their preferred form of cost disclosure, their contracts also have hidden fees that are not included in the funding table. To the best of our knowledge, there is only one plaintiff funding company that has no additional/hidden fees outside of the disclosed funding table.
Manage Expectations Early
When clients know upfront exactly how much they will be paying for their advance, it is far less likely that there will be any surprises or unmet expectations. Such practices help strengthen the attorney-client relationship and trust, particularly at settlement time.