Therium suffers funding blow

Cash: two successful settlements for Therium

Third-party litigation funder Therium has seen its investment pot cut by a sixth, it was announced today.

Henry Lafferty, chairman of parent company City of London Group plc, told its AGM that one of Therium's institutional clients has announced the closure of the fund for which Therium provided investment management services, and the fund manager has given notice to limit any new funding to existing cases.

“This reduces the funds made available to Therium for investment in litigation claims from the previously reported £30m to approximately £25m,” he said. “However, Therium is in discussion with several other parties regarding the possible launch of new funds.”

Mr Lafferty also said that Therium is trying to establish an international joint venture to fund commercial litigation, “albeit that talks with the various institutions involved are protracted”.

He added: “Significantly, there have been two successful case settlements in recent weeks and although both of these are fairly small, they add to Therium's successful track record.

“We are still awaiting judgment or settlement discussions on a number of more significant cases, and return to profitability for the group for the current year is dependent on the outcome of these cases for which the results remains uncertain.”

Therium has previously announced that it also entered a joint venture to examine new case potential in financial services, which Mr Lafferty said “could add further pipeline opportunities for cases to fund”.

Meanwhile, Novitas Asset Management Ltd, which makes advances to law firm clients to cover legal bills and is 50% owned by Therium, “is progressing well and continues to show good profitability”.

Mr Lafferty said Therium continues to explore adding  a banking licence so that retail deposits can be utilised by its various lending platforms, “all of which have now proven themselves to be scalable”.

He said: “Although this process can be time consuming and expensive, we are in no doubt that a successful outcome would offer substantial benefits to both our customers and shareholders.

“In the meantime we retain our existing focus on building third-party funds under management to grow our core platforms.”