New third-party funder enters market with cases on the go and money to invest

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By Legal Futures

13 June 2011


Isle of Man: backing for new third-party funding venture

A new third-party litigation funder launches today with five UK cases already funded and significant backing from a leading private equity firm.

Vannin Capital has committed £8m in facilities to fund seven cases in total – including one international arbitration and one US claim – and claims its ability to invest further will place the firm in the top echelon of litigation funders within a year.

Vannin is backed by Bramden Investments, a leading Isle of Man-based private equity firm with a successful track record of investing in start-ups.

The Vannin management team is small and has full delegated authority to approve funding applications – which can be done within five days.

The team includes solicitor and barrister, William Evans, a one-time partner at Irwin Mitchell and DLA who is now at Ely Place Chambers, and solicitor Nick Rowles-Davies, previously of boutique commercial firm Bridgehouse Partners.

Mr Rowles-Davies said Vannin “brings something to the litigation funding market that many other funders fail to bring – funded cases and significant financial backing”. Solicitors are required under the Code of Conduct to advise clients of all the options to finance their case.

He continued: “Our deep understanding of the market, the flexibility of our approach and the speed at which we make our investment decisions provides a unique, compelling and unrivalled funding solution. Vannin Capital is serious about the litigation funding market and intends to make substantial investments during 2011.   

“The use of a third party to fund litigation provides a simple, cost-effective and risk-free alternative for lawyers and their clients. Its increased use in the UK is inevitable regardless of whether the Jackson report is implemented. It brings a viable risk-free alternative to squeezed balance sheets and I urge lawyers to open their eyes to its benefits.”

Vannin said that while the litigation funding market in the UK is steadily growing, there remains a lack of transparency over the ability of some funders to access funds quickly.

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Joint (ad)ventures in the legal sector

Nigel Wallis lo res

We all know that nothing in life is certain. As the actor, director and philosopher Clint Eastwood once said: “If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” He also said he’d tried being reasonable and didn’t like it. They should teach this kind of philosophy in law school. One thing in life is reasonably certain though. If you’re a law firm worth your salt, at some point you will be approached by another entity (most probably a work introducer) with a whizzy idea to ‘partner’ with you to ‘help you accelerate your growth’. In commercial speak this means, ‘we’d like to keep feeding you work but we’d also like to share in your profits’. The arrangement may be pitched to you as a joint venture – a win-win no less.

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