Direct access service myBarrister has joined forces with litigation funder Augusta Ventures to help clients finance their cases – and offer barristers the prospect of upfront payment of some of their fees.
Augusta is a relatively new funder which, unusually, specialises in lower-value cases, with an average investment of £200,000. It generally takes around 20% of the proceeds if the case wins.
Under the ‘exclusive’ partnership with myBarrister, once Augusta has agreed to take on a case, the barrister is entitled to draw down up to 50% of his or her fees and disbursements.
Should the case be unsuccessful, the claimant’s adverse cost exposure is covered under an after-the-event insurance policy.
Ronald DeKoven, founder and CEO of myBarrister, said the arrangement will “alleviate the financial stress of people needing to litigate, as well as providing myBarrister partner barristers with the benefit that a significant portion of their fees will be underwritten from the moment they commence the case”.
Augusta is backed by Metric Capital Partners, a pan-European private capital fund manager, and has among its directors David Cheyne, former senior partner of Linklaters, and Peter Cornell, former global managing partner of Clifford Chance.
Mr DeKoven added: “myBarrister is facilitating the growing need for individuals and businesses to obtain quick, expert and cost-effective legal advice from the lawyers who do that best: barristers.
“With the financing now made available from Augusta Ventures, myBarrister is not only providing claimants access to some of the best legal minds in the market, but we are also enabling them to litigate where costs may be an issue.”
Meanwhile, barrister Wayne Massey has been suspended for six months and banned from offering direct access services for three years – and only then after he has undertaken further training – for, among other things, acting on a direct access basis when he was not registered as a direct access barrister. The bar tribunal ruling is still open to appeal.