Two solicitors launched a new third-party litigation funder Vannin Capital today, set to invest ‘significant sums’ in litigation.
The funder, founded by solicitor Nick Rowles-Davies and solicitor and barrister William Evans of Ely Place Chambers, is backed by Isle of Man-based private equity firm Bramden Investments.
Vannin began providing funds in January, and has already taken on seven cases.
Rowles-Davies said it has so far granted facilities of up to £8m over all seven sets of proceedings.
Current cases backed by the funder include breach of contract disputes, insolvency proceedings, an intellectual property dispute and an international arbitration involving a sovereign state.
Rowles-Davies, who left corporate and commercial firm Bridgehouse Partners last month to concentrate full time on Vannin following its public launch today, said the fund would be investing ‘significant sums’, depending on ‘how many cases we like over the next 12 months’.
He declined to give more specific figures.
The solicitor said the implementation of Lord Justice Jackson’s reforms to civil justice costs would increase the importance of third-party litigation funding.
He said: ‘Following the Jackson reforms there will be a need for alternative ways to fund cases. If after-the-event premiums are not recoverable, funders will have to take on liability for the other side’s costs.
‘Also, as clients’ legal budgets are reduced, lawyers need to be more flexible in the way they are offering retainers.’
Rowles-Davies added that solicitors were under a duty to advise clients of their funding options under the code of conduct rule 2.03, though he suggested that many in the profession were unaware of this obligation.