Indemnity and funding agreements: an issue of privilege

A recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision highlights important legal issues concerning privilege as it relates to indemnity and funding agreements, says BridgePoint Indemnity Company Chairman and CEO John Rossos.

“This matter is instructive because it emphasizes the need for counsel to claim privilege for these types of agreements to ensure the client’s interests are properly protected,” he tells

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The Recoverability of Indemnity Fees – The Debate is Just Beginning

Since BridgePoint Indemnity Company (Canada) Inc. (LISC) introduced LISC Legal Cost ProtectionTM to the Canadian legal market, a fundamental question posed by the personal injury bar is whether the indemnity fee charged is recoverable from the defendant. Until recently, there has been no Canadian decision addressing this issue.

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New Developments in the use of LISC Legal Cost ProtectionTM on Security for Costs Motions

One of the advantages that LISC Legal Cost ProtectionTM from BridgePoint Indemnity Company (Canada) Inc. (“LISC”) offers is that it is a useful tool in defending motions or applications for security for costs. We have previously written about the outcome of such motions and applications on this blog. A decision released by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on July 21, 2015 reinforces the court’s acceptance of LISC Legal Cost ProtectionTM as providing adequate security for a defendant.

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Time for a more fulsome debate on ABS

The controversy around consumer law giant Slater & Gordon shouldn’t be used as a pretext to shut down debate in Canada around adopting Alternative Business Structures (ABS) for law firms, says BridgePoint Indemnity Company Chairman and CEO John Rossos.

“Let’s take a look at ABS as a potential structure and think about how it can be implemented in a way that addresses the legitimate concerns of the legal profession while advancing sound public policy,” he tells

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John Rossos and David Knowles to speak at the Canadian Institute’s Inaugural Litigation Funding Conference

Join us on November 19-20 at the Canadian Institute’s Inaugural Litigation Funding Conference. John Rossos, Principal & Co-Founder of BridgePoint Financial Group, David Knowles, LISC Barbados’s Chief Risk Officer will be speaking about Integrated Litigation Risk Management — the Next Generation of Litigation Finance.

Details and schedules can be found at:

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Tar Ponds court action shut down, deemed too costly

The law firm that represents Cape Breton residents who launched a class-action lawsuit claiming the Sydney tar ponds exposed them to contaminants has concluded the litigation should stop after 11 years of legal wrangling.

The Halifax-based law firm Wagners issued a statement late Tuesday saying the court action, which started in 2004, has grown too complex and costly after several major setbacks.

The plaintiffs were granted certification as a class in May 2012, but the federal and Nova Scotia governments persuaded the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal to decertify the lawsuit in December 2013.

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Consent Order Confirming LISC Legal Cost Protection as Acceptable Substitute for Security for Costs

LISC has been approached by several lawyers as to the defendant’s recognition of LISC’s Indemnity Agreement to settle security for costs motions or applications. Recently, one lawyer has been able to obtain a consent Order to settle such an application on the basis that an Indemnity Agreement had been obtained from LISC. LISC is pleased to have assisted this lawyer and client in this important application.

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Legal cost protection and the question of privilege

With the introduction of legal cost protection, defendant insurers are increasingly requesting the production of legal cost protection indemnity agreements (Indemnity Agreement). In some cases, it is simply requested as an undertaking from discovery; in other cases, the defendant insurer is arguing that disclosure is required based on statute or regulatory provisions that require the disclosure of “insurance” contracts.

Irrespective of the defendant insurer’s motivation for seeking production, the question is whether these agreements are privileged and required to be produced?

In a recently published article in Advocate Daily, the issue of legal cost protection and the question of privilege is fully explored, including case references and established precedents that are very helpful when navigating this evolving legal topic.

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Impecuniosity no Protection from Cost Award

The theory held by many personal injury lawyers that impecunious and therefore “judgment proof” plaintiffs are immune to adverse cost exposure was further tested in the costs endorsement in Lakew v. Munro, 2014 ONSC 7316 (CanLII) (“Lakew”). We have previously discussed this topic in our May 2014 blog on Leochko v. Rostek, 2013 ONSC 7899 (CanLII).

In Lakew, this motor vehicle accident-related action was tried before a jury in June 2014. The jury found that the accident did not cause her any injuries. The defendant had argued a threshold motion during the jury deliberations, but this was withdrawn upon the jury’s verdict. The Court invited both parties to submit written cost submissions.

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BridgePoint Covers $500,000 in Tar Ponds Cost Award

In March 2004, five residents of Sydney, Nova Scotia commenced a class action with respect to the contamination of their properties as a result of the operation of coke ovens and steel operations in the nearby Sydney Tar Ponds. Their properties were contaminated with highly toxic substances including, in certain instances, arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The Governments of Nova Scotia and Canada were named as defendants for their role in the operation of the Sydney Tar Ponds and the resulting contamination.

The representative plaintiffs’ class action law firms, Wagners and Siskinds LLP, contacted BridgePoint Global Litigation Services Inc. (“BridgePoint”) on behalf of their clients to provide them with a $500,000 indemnity to help offset any order made against them to pay the defendants’ costs. BridgePoint’s indemnity allowed the representative plaintiffs to focus on advancing the action without worry that they could face potential financial ruin for agreeing to represent the class.

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