A global litigation funder has unveiled what it claims to be an industry first – a not-for-profit initiative that will help to provide access to justice.

Therium Access will provide £1m a year in total to those who lack the funds necessary to pursue or defend claims, and for projects to improve access to justice.

Solicitors John Byrne and Neil Purslow, who founded Therium, told the Gazette that Therium Access is something they have wanted to do for the past few years after seeing ‘lots of deserving cases’ they would have ‘loved to have put money into’.

Byrne said the pair had come across personal injury cases or medical claims which they could not conscionably fund and then take a share out of any proceeds should the case succeed. 

Purslow said: ‘We’ve been around long enough and have got a strong track record on the commercial side of what we’re doing. We’ve got the leverage to make this happen. We’re a finance business but we see ourselves as part of the legal world, as part of functioning the administration of justice. It’s important to us.’

Lord Falconer of Thoroton, former Labour lord chancellor, will chair Therium Access’s advisory committee. 

The recipients of the first round of grants will be announced in April. The deadline for the next round is 30 August.