Therium grows available capital to £30m, with £10m in the pipeline

Anstee: merchant bank ambition

Third-party litigation funder Therium has increased its available funding to £30m, with a further £10m agreed in principle, its owner revealed yesterday.

However, posting its preliminary annual results, the City of London Group plc (COLG) said “the disappointment during the year has been the lack of legal case determinations in Therium and therefore the absence of any performance fees”.

This meant that Therium only generated £258,000 in revenue in the year to 31 March, leading to a pre-tax loss of £685,000, similar to the year before.

Chief executive Eric Anstee said Therium saw “a hectic last quarter of the financial year to March 2013. In each financial year since launch, Therium has received increased numbers of cases to fund. We expect this trend to continue”.

The activity this year was, unsurprisingly, driven by the introduction of the Jackson reforms on 1 April. “Therium was exceptionally busy in the first quarter of 2013 closing applications for litigation funding as law firms sought to file claims before 1 April so that their rights to recovery of fees under CFAs and their clients’ right to recover insurance premiums were covered by the old regime,” the COLG statement to the Stock Exchange said.

Therium has unveiled two new injections of capital in recent months. In March, it announced the successful closing of a £7.2m litigation fund, Therium Jersey Limited, established under the Jersey Expert Fund regime. Investors were a mix of new institutional and high net-worth investors alongside a number of investors from Therium’s prior funds.

As at the closing of the fund, five investments recommended by Therium – as its exclusive investment adviser – were approved for funding by the board of directors of Therium Jersey Limited.

Then in May Therium was appointed to advise exclusively a newly launched litigation fund that has raised £5.6m.

Mr Anstee said: “I am now confident that we have built solid foundations for the future expansion of the group into a merchant bank with three major segments: SME lending, asset management, and trade finance.”