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Augusta adds to portfolio with further £3m pumped into SME litigation

Young: no shortage of meritorious litigation out there [1]

Young: no shortage of meritorious litigation out there

Augusta Ventures – the litigation funder focused on the SME market – has increased its case intake in the first quarter of 2015, new figures have shown.

In a unique display of transparency for a non-listed funder, Augusta said it invested £3m in 12 new cases in the quarter, building on the £10m put into 36 cases throughout 2014.

Augusta invests between £10,000 and £600,000 in a broad range of largely commercial litigation matters. This quarter saw its largest investment to date – £656,242 – as well as its smallest: £21,267. The average investment in 2015 was £273,442 as against an average across its portfolio of £177,116.

The figures – which Augusta said would now be published every quarter – showed that it is working with 36 different law firms on the 48 cases it has funded since formation.

Of those 48, all but five use the scheme after-the-event insurance provided by AmTrust, while in 23 cases the claimant has also made a financial contribution. Four of the cases have concluded.

Managing director Louis Young said: “We want to show the market that litigation finance for SME disputes is alive and very well. Having funded 36 cases in 2014, we want to increase that rapidly to 150 by the end of this year – there is no shortage of meritorious litigation out there, and lawyers and clients alike are starting to recognise the benefits of our approach.

“Clients see it as a form of asset finance that does not tie up cash flow and removes or reduces the risk of litigation from their balance sheet; lawyers are both generating new work and retaining matters that would otherwise have disappeared out the door.”

Among the firms whose clients have used Augusta’s Trinity product are Bond Dickinson, Burges Salmon, Fox Williams, Gordon Dadds, Hill Dickinson, JMW, Keystone Law, Stephenson Harwood, Stephensons, Squire Patton Boggs, Harcus Sinclair and Ward Hadaway.

Augusta said earlier this year that it has in excess of £50m to invest.