Administrators have been appointed at one of the biggest legal funders in the UK, at a time when the claims market continues to be in a state of flux and uncertainty.
A London Gazette notice states that Affiniti Finance Limited was placed into administration last Thursday. Andrew Hosking, Sean Bucknall and Paul Zalkin of Quantuma Advisory Limited have been appointed to handle the company’s affairs.
The Financial Conduct Authority register confirms that Affiniti Finance Limited is in administration and has stopped taking on new business.
There has been no statement from Affiniti Finance and the business has not responded to requests for comment. It is unclear at this stage whether the company continues to trade and what will happen to its multi-million pound funding agreements with various law firms.
Affiniti Finance has described itself as the leading consumer credit litigation funder in the UK. It was founded by chief executive Ian Cunningham and chief financial officer Nicholas Shapland in 2014, initially dealing with personal injury loans but later expanding its portfolio to include financial mis-sell and a wider range of consumer disputes. The commercial division of Affiniti Finance also specialises in funding options for high-value individual claims and group actions.
In September 2020, the financier announced a £250m capital raise for litigation and dispute funding, backed by a multi-billion dollar US-based fund. Its investments at the time included more than 5,000 litigation matters, but it was envisaged this would increase to 50,000 within a year. According to the annual accounts for the year ending 31 December, the firm had an outstanding loan worth £18.3m with Fortress Lending Fund Subsidiary DAC secured by a fixed and floating charge over the assets.
The accounts also reveal that in March this year, Affiniti Holdings Limited acquired the shares of Affiniti Finance Limited on a share for share exchange.
In the past month, two claims firms which were previously high-profile names in the sector have gone into administration: Hampson Hughes and Pure Legal, both based in Liverpool. The reasons for the collapses have not been given in detail, but should be explained in the forthcoming administrators’ reports.
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