Third-party litigation funder Augusta has launched a pre-proceedings product to help potential claimants investigate the merits of their case before committing to litigation.
The company – which specialises in cases worth less than £1m – will now offer funds towards the costs for an opinion from a solicitor and, if the case has merits, from counsel also.
As well as helping claimants, Augusta said the move would increase lawyers’ caseloads and enhance client relationships.
In the event Augusta goes on to provide finance for the resulting case, the funding will be included in the overall case budget.
If the decision is not to proceed, the client will not have to reimburse Augusta, unless it wants sight of counsel’s opinion. Both the solicitor and counsel will be expected to work on a partial conditional fee agreement, “ensuring an alignment of interest amongst all parties”, the company said.
The solicitor is required to initially assess the case on the basis of Augusta’s economics, selection and prospect of recovery criteria.
Augusta engagement director Jeunesse Edwards said: “We recognise that just getting to the point of deciding whether a case is worth pursuing can be expensive and off-putting for would-be claimants. This expanded offering allows meritorious claims to get over this first hurdle and assists solicitors to generate more work. The fact that a case has been so thoroughly vetted before being taken forward will also send a very strong message to the defendant.”
Since launching at the end of 2014, Augusta has funded 64 cases worth almost £15m.