Speed up mass tort settlement distribution while lowering cost
Milestone is a leading mass tort qualified settlement fund administrator. Our QSF team is like an accounting back office for your law firm, precisely handling bookkeeping of mass tort settlement distribution, fee splits, and other tasks that remove the administrative burden from your firm. We even proactively send notifications of incoming wires, so you know when to expect incoming funds. Our flexibility allows us to meet your law firm’s individual needs. Contact Milestone to discuss your mass tort work and how we can best serve you as qualified settlement fund administrator.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the settlement process work with Milestone as mass tort QSF administrator?
Here’s a rundown of the process.
1. Establish the mass tort QSF
Milestone establishes the master qualified settlement fund for your law firm and any additional accounts needed. We will handle all the paperwork, including court filings, tax filings, administration, opening the bank account, purchasing checks, and more.
2. Funding instructions
One of the most important steps in the process is ensuring the correct language is added to the Master Settlement Agreement. This language will release the funds to your QSF. This is typically done through a payee line in the settlement or release agreement. We will provide sample language for you to use in order to ensure funds are paid directly into the QSF. Your law firm will need to provide these instructions to the defendant.
3. Settle cases into the QSF
Utilizing a mass tort QSF with Milestone is the most sophisticated approach to settlement, as it allows for stronger coordination and planning before the funds are constructively received by you and your clients. When you settle cases into your QSF, Milestone acts as an extension of your firm, helping your accounting team organize client data and properly coordinate all aspects of distribution.
4. Settlement planning
While the settlement funds are held within the QSF, you and your clients have time to plan past the end of litigation. You can also consider attorney fee deferral. Your clients can work with our settlement experts to preserve government benefits and strategize their future financial security. With Milestone as your partner at settlement, you can smooth out the entire planning process.
5. Additional Distribution
Milestone serves as an entire back office to ensure all claims are paid accurately and promptly. We provide accounting breakdowns of all previous payments to referral, local, dual, and co-counsel attorneys, and we field inquiries regarding additional fee payments and holdbacks. Payments can be made via checks, ACH, wire, or digital disbursement. Throughout the process, our team provides full transparency into account balances and available transaction history.
What are some of the mass tort cases Milestone has worked on?
Milestone has made thousands of settlement disbursements with a total payout reaching billions of dollars. Below is a sample of litigation in which Milestone assisted through qualified settlement fund administration and/or plaintiff settlement planning.
- Bard IVC Filters
- DePuy hips
- Simply Thick
- Stryker hips
- Transvaginal mesh
Why should an attorney select their own mass tort qualified settlement fund administrator?
Law firms do not have to utilize the mass tort QSF administrator that leadership appoints. But why take the extra step? There are several benefits to selecting your own administrator to handle disbursement for your cases:
- Control: When you select your own QSF administrator, your law firm will have greater control over the administration of the fund. Specifically, Milestone will serve as a partner with you to provide stronger checks and balances during the post-settlement process.
- Expertise: Distribution of funds in mass tort cases is inherently complex given the large number of claimants. A QSF administrator with specialized experience will properly manage the fund and navigate the legal and regulatory requirements of disbursement. Further, by choosing a company based on their experience and philosophy, you know that the team will distribute the funds correctly and efficiently.
- Cost savings: By selecting your own QSF administrator, you may also see lower fees and costs than if you were to use the assigned administrator.
- Reputation: Partnering with a reputable and trustworthy QSF administrator can bolster your firm’s reputation with regard to the post-settlement process.
Why is it important to separate the role of QSF administrator from that of the lien resolution administrator?
It may seem convenient to have the same administrator handle both the qualified settlement fund and lien resolution processes in a mass tort case. Here’s why it’s worth it to separate the two roles.
Firstly, the two roles can have competing interests. The QSF administrator’s primary responsibility is to distribute settlement funds to claimants. On the other hand, the lien resolution administrator’s primary responsibility is to negotiate and resolve liens with third-party entities. For example, the lien resolution administrator may prioritize negotiating lien reductions or waivers, which could impact the amount available to distribute to the claimants. Selecting two different companies removes any potential conflict of interest.
Secondly, managing a QSF and resolving liens require different skill sets. The QSF administrator should have a deep understanding of the legal and regulatory requirements of mass tort settlement distribution. On the other hand, the lien resolution administrator should have a deep understanding of the various types of liens that may arise in a mass tort case and how to negotiate and resolve them. Combining these roles could dilute the ability to effectively manage both the QSF and the lien resolution process.
Finally, leveraging the work of two different teams separately provides much needed checks and balances post settlement. An engaged mass tort QSF administrator will uniquely know how the LRA is performing, and they can provide transparency to the law firm throughout the process generally. This oversight, for no additional cost, is an important selling point to any firm operating in this space.
Milestone can serve as lead administrator to oversee disbursement, claims administration, lien resolution, and more. Our team will take the administrative burden off your staff and provide security, checks and balances, and efficiency among all parties involved.