However, the article was somewhat misleading in suggesting that arranging a structured settlement from the bottom up, rather than the top down, is new. Both approaches have been adopted by solicitors and insurers for some time and it is arguable whether they are radically different. Generally, those advising the plaintiff will need to consider the potential size of any lump sum the plaintiff may receive, in order to be able to evaluate the advantages of resolving the claim by a lump sum, or in whole, or in part, by a structured settlement. While the bottom-up needs-based approach certainly has advantages in cases where liability is disputed, or there is an element of contributory negligence, or where life expectancy is reduced, the plaintiff certainly needs robust and independent advice on whether the annuity package on offer from the insurer is in his or her best interests.
Secretary, Civil Litigation Committee
The Law Society
London WC2Reuse content