For most lawyers who have yet to experience dispute resolution funding, suspicion of a long-winded and painstaking application process can be off-putting. There should be no need to worry, however. In practice, the actual case assessment and due diligence process that third-party funders undertake rarely takes more than a month and, in principle, can be undertaken using the case materials that are already available.
Different funders will inevitably have somewhat different timelines in their offering. At Vannin, we aim to give applicants an initial response about funding, with an indication of the terms we could offer, within 14 days of receiving the application. We are not in the business of locking clients into exclusivity from ‘day one’ as we do not want to offer terms based on an incomplete initial assessment of the case with the result that we either cannot ultimately offer those terms or have to make significant changes to those initially proposed.
Thereafter, subject to agreement being met on the financial terms and the client granting a period of exclusivity, we move onto the full due diligence and risk assessment stage of our process. This should take no more than 28 days, but where that is not possible for whatever reason there will be regular and ongoing dialogue with the lawyers and client as we work through the outstanding issue(s).
The answer is as soon as you can form a good view of the case’s merits, and think that the case might need financial support and/or a transfer of the risk. Nevertheless, funding can be bought at any time over the course of a case, including close to trial or when the result of an appeal over damages is pending. We have funded a number of cases at a late stage in the proceedings because the client’s resources have been exhausted.
Initially, we always encourage a phone call or meeting to discuss the case in outline. This ensures cases which fundamentally do not fit our investment criteria are vetted out early which in turn avoids unnecessary work being undertaken by the client’s legal team.
If the matter is of interest after an initial discussion we will require disclosure of extensive further information. In order to properly assess the matter we like to see and appraise the following:
We recognise that, subject to the juncture of the case, some of these documents might not be available. In particular, it is not mandatory that counsel’s opinion is available as we obtain an opinion from an independent QC at our own cost. In addition in some cases we instruct a valuation expert to opine on quantum. Any information you send to us will be stored securely on our VCMS platform which uses 128 bit SSL encryption and sits on our own secure VPN.
In terms of producing the case budget, we know that accurate budgeting and costs scrutiny is already second nature to many law firms, but for those that find it more challenging, we provide the services of a third party costs expert (at our cost) to draft the budget. As costs budgeting is now compulsory for most Multi Track cases good costs budgeting and management is essential for the recovery of costs.
We appreciate that many solicitors still view funders as sluggish, fixated only on the big ticket cases, overly-questioning and even intrusive. But if you choose your funder correctly, than that is a view that holds little truth, as you will see if you choose to use our services.
For more information on Vannin Capital, please contact: Leanne Harker, Marketing at Vannin Capital, T: +44 (0)1624 615 111, E: firstname.lastname@example.org