The Structure Broker – A Catalyst to Settlement

January 22, 2018

One of the many services McKellar provides is free, unbiased assistance during settlement negotiations.  There are many great reasons to utilize this free service, with benefits to all parties involved.

Lawyers and claims handlers do not need to know all of the intricacies of structured settlements.  Having a broker available to answer any technical questions, immediately and accurately, can help maintain the momentum in any settlement discussions.  Since the broker can produce annuity figures and printouts on-site, there is no gap in discussions while a party tries to value different scenarios with respect to ongoing care needs.  For example:

A broker can translate offers into bottom line figures for the plaintiff, after fees and up-front cash needs have been estimated, in order to properly assess what a particular offer means in terms of the ongoing monthly payments that can be generated.
“What-if” scenarios for SABs valuations can be calculated.  One party may wish to see how a change in Form 1 needs might impact the value of a claim.  Perhaps a proposed up-front home renovation drastically impacts the remaining Medical and Rehabilitation limits, necessitating the need for a recalculation of that benefit.

To maximize a broker’s effectiveness, it is helpful if the parties view him or her as neutral and attending in a non-adversarial role.  A broker provides factual information about structured settlements and the quotes which he or she provides are simply based on the parameters set by the party.  Regardless of who asks for a particular quote, the numbers will be the same, if the parameters are the same.  This allows for the presence of a single broker at negotiations who is able to move between all parties, answering any questions or providing any quotations, as necessary.  McKellar has well established credibility with both plaintiffs’ counsel and the defence, which allows us to provide this assistance in most cases.

Moreover, all information provided to each party is kept completely confidential, unless the negotiating party decides to share it with the other side.

When a settlement is reached, the presence of a broker can help eliminate any potential post-negotiation issues by ensuring that the structure details are agreed upon and documented. Such details are:

  • Who is contributing to the structure funding and in what amount(s)?
  • Who has given consent to structure?
  • Who will hold the structure?
  • If assignment is required, who will make the assignment and pay the fee(s)?
  • If there is a reversion, what are the terms of that reversion?

This service, which McKellar provides at absolutely no cost, is underutilized, particularly given the potential benefits to all parties involved.  Whether or not a structure is placed as a result of the negotiations, we are always willing to make ourselves available to assist in any way possible.

If you would like to enlist our assistance at your next settlement negotiation, please contact us.