Legal costs of consultancies battling clients could be met from a group insurance scheme being mooted by the Design Business Association.
DBA member consultancies may be invited to join a scheme which could be used to finance legal moves, for example in disputes over copyright.
The DBA is researching the idea, inspired by a court wrangle between DBA member Lyn Hourahine, principal of London graphics company Paper Power, and greetings card company Paper D’Art. The case is subject to appeal but has already cost Hourahine Ãº37 000 in legal costs.
“He had to pay his own fees – but if you can’t afford to take legal action, you’re in trouble,” says DBA chief executive Ian Rowland-Hill. The DBA is consulting an undisclosed firm of insurers. “We don’t know yet how valuable it would be to our membership, we need to see if it’s financially viable,” says Rowland-Hill.
DBA members would pay a regular unspecified amount to build up a fund for court cases.
“This sounds like a brilliant idea”, says Hourahine. “It’s very daunting to face legal action without any support.”