An epidemic of fraud related to crypto assets has inspired a collaborative effort by five professional services firms to bring more such matters before the courts. Crypto-related fraud reached an all-time high in 2021, with illicit addresses receiving an estimated US$14bn over the course of the year - 79% on the previous year.

However, according to the five firms, the number of claims brought before courts about these losses remains low, in part due to a lack of funding options for otherwise meritorious lower-value claims. The firms have set a joint triage system for the initial assessment of claims. Meritorious claims will be assessed and financed by litigation funder Sandton Capital which has dedicated £50m for crypto-related litigation.

The other members of the consortium are recovery specialist Asset Reality, accountancy Grant Thornton UK, Outer Temple Chambers and city firm Rahman Ravelli. 

Justina Stewart, barrister at Outer Temple Chambers, said: 'This is a real opportunity to push the boundaries of the law by working symbiotically with true experts. All too often, potentially meritorious crypto fraud claims don't get off the ground because of lack of funding and joined-up thinking between real specialists.'

The announcement follows last year's launch of the Crypto Fraud and Asset Recovery network (CFAAR), the founding members of which also include Grant Thornton and Rahman Ravelli.