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The Post Office scandal and litigation funding

The miscarriage of justice that took place in the British Post Office scandal has highlighted the importance that equality of arms can play in legal proceedings, especially when facing a well-funded opposition.

Alan Bates, a former sub-postmaster and one of the five lead claimants, highlighted the importance of litigation funding in rectifying this grave injustice, empowering 555 sub-postmasters to bring a group action to the High Court against the Post Office. The sub-postmasters were able to overturn criminal convictions that had been wrongly obtained and ultimately receive settlement compensation. The full judgement can be found here.

The case is a powerful demonstration of the need for litigation funding to facilitate access to justice for those who cannot afford appropriate legal representation.

Funding in financial remedy proceedings is no different. Assets are often illiquid or held in just one party’s name, creating an imbalance in the level of representation the parties can afford. Funding ensures equality of arms.

Level aims to ‘level the playing field’ in litigation by providing funding to individuals who expect to receive a significant financial settlement at the conclusion of their legal proceedings but cannot access the funds to reach that point. Level acts to unlock some of the borrower’s future settlement early so that they can use this to pay their legal fees, disbursements and other living expenses until the end of the proceedings.



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