Calunius raises £30m in new funding for litigation – with more to come

Perrin: costs budgeting call

Leading third-party litigation funder Calunius Capital has announced the first closing of its second fund, raising an initial £30m of capital.

The fresh cash injection has so far come from those invested in its first fund, but the company hopes that a second closing in three months will have brought in another £30m from new investors.

The Calunius Litigation Risk Fund 1 was launched in December 2010 and is now closed after raising and committing £40m. Both funds are based in Guernsey.

The first fund’s highest-profile investment to date is funding the Elvis Presley estate in its action over unpaid royalties against a German label owned by Sony, which is now in the German Federal Supreme Court.

Other cases include international arbitration proceedings against the governments of Uzbekistan and Venezuela in connection with unlawful expropriations of the assets of listed gold-miners Oxus Gold and Rusoro Mining. It has also made several investments in private recovery actions by victims of cartels.

Calunius said its cases have been heard all over the world, including in London, Paris, Washington and Munich.

Mick Smith, head of origination at Calunius Capital, said: “The first closing of our second fund represents a further advance for Calunius Capital, cementing its place among the world’s leading litigation funders with assets under management in excess of $100m. We are especially pleased to receive the ongoing support of our anchor investors from our first fund.”

Chairman Leslie Perrin added: “Litigation funding is now achieving a very wide degree of acceptance from investors, lawyers, judges and most importantly, from businesses, large and small, who are increasingly seeing our financial products as desirable risk management tools. The CFOs and GCs of the most solvent companies view litigation funding as a rational commercial choice.”

Though it has invested in English litigation, Mr Perrin said the risk of adverse costs made it an unpopular jurisdiction for funders. To ameliorate this, he called for an end to the exemption from mandatory costs budgeting for many worth more than £2m – the results of a judiciary review of this, launched last June, are still unknown.

“I think costs budgeting would be excellent through the system – I can’t think why the cases that need it the most don’t get it,” he said.

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