Getting MORE from QSF Admin and Lien Resolution

This guest post was written by Milestone, a qualified settlement fund administration firm that offers in-house, comprehensive settlement planning to trial lawyers and plaintiffs. Below, the Milestone team explains the power attorneys have in selecting the right lien resolution administrator and qualified settlement fund administrator. 


Large litigation is complex from day one, and it doesn’t get any simpler during settlement. With the many plaintiffs and attorneys involved, each with different needs and payouts, settlement disbursement can be a real headache for law firms. 

Some attorneys rely on the qualified settlement fund administrator appointed in the master settlement agreement. Or, they may have a large lien resolution company act as a “one-stop shop” to handle liens along with QSF administration. Doing so may seem like a simpler path – after all, isn’t it one less decision to make as litigation wraps up? 

But by partnering with separate companies that specialize in handling the hurdles of distribution or lien resolution, law firms and their clients receive tailored services that smooth out settlement. Behemoth one-stop shop companies just can’t promise the same thing. 


Benefits of Choosing Independent Administrators 

There’s conflict of interest when one administrator resolves the lien docket while also managing and distributing settlement funds. Every administrator has a financial interest in how long it takes to distribute funds – the longer the process takes, the more money the administrator makes. When commingled with the lien process, this sets up a financial incentive for an administrator to spend more time investigating and resolving liens. But no other party wants to drag out the end of a lawsuit. By separating the fund administrator from the lien resolution administrator (LRA), law firms eliminate this conflict of interest. 

In addition, a QSF administrator and LRA can independently tailor their services to the firm’s needs. They can each focus on the specific responsibilities of their roles, which are very different. Let’s take a closer look at what each company should uniquely provide. 


QSF Administrator’s Roles 

A dedicated QSF administrator will manage disbursement correctly and in a timely manner, while monitoring and reconciling accounts daily. More specific responsibilities include: 

  • Generating client closing/settlement statements 
  • Distributing claimant payments, attorney fee and expense distributions 
  • Handling payment of finalized liens 
  • Verifying all aspects of payment to protect against fraud 
  • Managing investment of funds within QSF 
  • Handling bankruptcy/probate issues and all tax related filings 
  • Maintaining accounting of the QSF 
  • Winding down the QSF and reconciling earnings 


Lien Resolution Administrator’s Roles 

A strategic LRA is equipped to resolve liens on a large scale, with the same attention to detail and compliance as done in single-event cases. Some responsibilities include: 

  • Identifying initially unknown or potential liens 
  • Benefit verification 
  • Investigating liens and managing communication with lienholders 
  • Negotiating reduction or waiving of liens 
  • Acting compliantly regarding state and federal regulations and requirements 
  • Taking on the burden of identifying initially unknown or potential liens 


Those who take advantage of their right to partner with companies at settlement have peace of mind that the tasks are being handled by the experts. The two companies work in conjunction to efficiently handle their specific tasks while providing transparency to lead counsel as the process moves forward. 

Litigation is complex enough. Trial lawyers should expect a high standard of care from all their legal service providers, including their QSF administrator and LRA. If you are interested in discussing the benefits of separating administrators, contact Milestone today.