A third-party funder has pledged to pay for claimants to investigate the merits of their case before committing to litigation.Augusta Ventures, which targets cases worth less than £1m, says there will be no obligation to pursue claims and parties who choose to back down will not have to pay money back.The money will fund the costs of an opinion from a solicitor and, if the case has merits, from counsel also.Third-party litigation funding has become an increasingly prominent factor in the funding of cases, particularly since recoverability of success fees and after-the-event insurance was removed by the Jackson reforms in April 2013. This is believed to be one of the first examples of a funder offering finance in advance of cases being actively pursued.Engagement director Jeunesse Edwards (pictured) 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.’In the event that Augusta goes on to provide finance for the case, the funding will be included in the overall case budget. If the decision is not to proceed, the client will have to reimburse Augusta only if it wants sight of counsel’s opinion.Both the solicitor and counsel will be expected to work on a partial conditional fee agreement to ensure what Augusta calls ‘an alignment of interest’ amongst all parties.The solicitor is required to initially assess the case on the basis of Augusta’s economics, selection and prospect of recovery criteria.Edwards said the prospect of early assessment should also help to speed up the litigation process by persuading defendants to settle cases.‘The fact that a case has been so thoroughly vetted before being taken forward will also send a very strong message to the defendant,’ she added.Augusta started at the end of 2014 and has funded 64 cases to date, with a total investment of £15m.The company, backed by private funds, a Canadian family office and private capital fund Metric Capital Partners, says it receives around 20% of the net proceeds of a successful case.Augusta’s shareholders include David Cheyne, former senior partner of Linklaters, and Martyn Bowes, ex-head of real estate financing at Barclays.
Argos Hold On To Rainy 4-2 Win Over UWA LIVINGSTON, Ala. – Despite stormy conditions on Sunday afternoon, the Argos pulled off a 4-2 win that was called in the 6th inning due to water on the field. Jillian Lafrance (Calgary, Alberta/Charleston Southern) improved to 23-5 with the victory, as West Florida improved to 40-13, 15-9 GSC. Melissa Chastang (Satsuma, Ala./Satsuma HS) and Shannon Miles (Shreveport, La./Bossier Parrish CC) had 2-for-4 showings, while Kat Pursell’s (Cantonment, Fla./Tate HS) 2-for-3 outing knocked in two runs.\The West Alabama offense looked promising in the first , as Kelli Hartley took one deep to score Lauren Mills who was on as a result of Lafrance’s only free pass of the day. The Argos countered in the second inning as Trish Pope (Pensacola, Fla./Okaloosa-Walton CC) roped a single, followed by a Kristee Wheeler (Pensacola, Fla./Pensacola JC) walk. A wild pitch advanced both runners, and a run crossed as Sarah Garcia (Miami, Fla./Wallace CC) reached on a UWA error. Pursell then grounded out to plate another run and knot the game at 2-2. Two scoreless innings gave way in the top of the fifth, as Caurie Miller (Orlando, Fla./Troy) drew a lead off walk, advancing on a bunt single from Miles. Lafrance followed with a fielder’s choice that caught Miller at third, but Emily Burge (Pace, Fla./Pace HS) loaded the bases with a fielder’s choice that allowed Miles and Lafrance to advance safely on a throwing error. Miles was then thrown out at home on yet another fielder’s choice from Wheeler, but bases remained loaded with two outs.A rain delay left a 2-2 count with two outs and bases loaded for Garcia, who drew a walk once the teams were back on the field. With a 3-2 lead, Pursell added one for insurance with a single up the middle to plate Franny Bell (Navarre, Fla./Navarre HS) pinch running for Burge. The game was called after the 6th inning, as a heavy shower brought conditions that deemed the field unplayable. The Argos will continue on their quest for a trip to the GSC tournament this Sunday in their final regular season series at Valdosta State.NOTE: The game was originally ruled to be over after the sixth inning, but at a later date it was determined that the runs from the rain-shortened seventh inning do count, making the final score 8-5 in favor of UWF. For the complete results, check the box score linked at the top of the article.Print Friendly Version Share Kat Pursell (Photo by Ron Besser)