Good Law Project uses the criteria below to assess potential litigation:
1. Does the case fall within our priority thematic areas, such as tackling poverty, upholding democracy or protecting the environment?
2. Would the litigation address significant issues of disadvantage, unfairness or discrimination, preferably for a relatively large cohort of people?
3. Would the litigation have strategic impact, with systemic implications beyond the specifics of the case?
4. Is the litigation consistent with our values?
Before starting any action, we take legal advice from a leader in the field on the litigation’s prospects of success. We also consider whether the litigation can be funded (including via crowdfunding, partner contributions, protective costs order, or unrestricted or other funds) and whether the litigation would be brought, or the underlying issues effectively addressed, without our involvement.
The factors to be taken into account in assessing whether litigation should be brought can be complex and sometimes conflicting. We take a case by case approach and have a formal approval procedure within the organisation.
Management of case costs
One of the sources of funding of the core costs of the organisation is litigation funding. We seek to recover a 10% contribution to core costs from litigation funding. Beyond that our expectation is that we will generate a modest surplus on cases that succeed to fund a modest loss on cases that fail. We generally ask external legal advisers to work at GLD panel rates, or on a rate where
the fee is contingent on success. Our policy is that we should never have an unfunded exposure to costs – our own and adverse – which exceeds £20,000 on any individual case. We will re-assess litigation, and are likely to discontinue, if faced with the realistic possibility of losses above this amount.