About LionFish

LionFish Litigation Finance (UK) Ltd is a specialist finance business active in funding litigation risks. It works closely with litigation lawyers and litigation solicitors in the UK and globally, as well as legal expense insurance providers and other third-party litigation funders.

Unlike most other players in the third-party litigation funding market, LionFish is not a fund investing money on behalf of third-party institutional investors. LionFish is a subsidiary of RBG Holdings plc, an AIM-listed professional services business, that also owns law firm Rosenblatt Limited and specialist sell-side corporate finance boutique Convex Capital Limited.

LionFish benefits from the operational, corporate, and financial support of RBG Holdings plc, an established listed professional services group, making it a unique player in the litigation funding market. 

LionFish is not constrained by the typically restrictive capital provided by institutional investors to traditional litigation funding companies. As such, LionFish provides a fast, effective alternative to commercial litigation funding for individuals, law firms and insolvency practitioners, as well as finance for businesses and corporates across a wide variety of sectors. The corporate structure of the business allows it to be nimble and focus on identifying attractive litigation risks where transactions are structured to suit the demands of the opportunity.

LionFish is not an insurer and does not provide or underwrite after-the-event insurance or any form of legal expenses insurance or legal expenses cover.

After-the-event insurers work selectively with participants in the third-party litigation funding market. The key directors of LionFish have long-standing working relationships with most providers of ATE and litigation insurance. 

About Litigation Funding

Used interchangeably with litigation financing, litigation lending and litigation investing, litigation funding is the business of funding the cost of litigation, such as the solicitor fees or lawyer fees, for a return from the proceeds of a successful outcome.

While some funders issue litigation loans, LionFish’s litigation funding is an investment with no returns due in case of an unsuccessful outcome. It is in simple terms, a no-win no-fee arrangement where legal financing is given on a non-recourse basis.

After-the-event (ATE) insurance is an insurance policy that provides legal cover insurance, such as Adverse Costs, when a case is unsuccessful. It does not provide any legal case funding or legal funding services and is therefore very distinct from litigation funding.

All solicitors and lawyers are obliged to act in the best interests of their clients, and in the last few years, most lawyers have become very familiar with the mechanics and the benefits of litigation funding for their claimants. Whether it’s a corporate litigation lawyer, class action lawyers or a civil litigation lawyer acting under a Damages Based Agreement or a Conditional Fee Agreement, most litigation lawyers will at least be advising on its availability to their clients.

Litigation finance for law firms is a major focus of LionFish’s business. Law firm financing is often a way for firms to finance lawyers acting under conditional fee arrangements and therefore a valuable tool for commercial dispute resolution departments.

About the Application Process

No. LionFish works with specialist ATE insurers and litigation funding brokers and introducers, as well as other solicitors and other professionals. However, all cases will need a solicitor, lawyer or a direct access barrister instructed on the litigation case.

In addition to the application form, typically a detailed summary of the case, the pleadings, counsel’s advice and the key correspondence with the opponent is supplied, along with an estimated or completed costs budget and the evidence of the opponent’s financial strength.

The structure and tidiness with which a litigation is presented determines, more than the complexity of a case, the speed with which a funder can process the application.

Provided that the application and supporting information has been presented well, the funding application should take no more than three weeks. LionFish makes a commitment however, that at the earliest opportunity it becomes clear that LionFish cannot fund a case, it will immediately let the litigant and solicitor know, so as not to waste anyone’s time unnecessarily.

Yes. LionFish prioritises operational efficiency and profit margins over the deployment rates and investor returns that most funders focus on. As such, LionFish’s objectives to keep costs minimal to increase margins is aligned with the applicant’s desire to keep the cost of litigation down, making swift decisions a commercially valuable aspect of our business.

LionFish’s Key Investment Parameters

No. In any litigation funding investment, the investor is not able to control a claim. That applies to LionFish in any commercial litigation finance arrangement. LionFish invests not just into the legal merits of the litigation case, but it also invests into the lawyers we back. Hence, the final call on every aspect of litigation is made by the claimant and their solicitor.

As LionFish is not a fund with a restrictive and limited mandate that narrows its wish list to a sweet spot, LionFish does not look for certain types of cases to fund, but looks for good litigation risks, i.e. legal matters which have a high prospects of success in our opinion. As such, there is no limit on how small or large a case is, provided the economics can be made to work. They can come from jurisdictions stretching from Australia to the UK to International Arbitration, and across different types of law, from insolvency law, patent litigation, business litigation, commercial litigation, trust and probate.

Yes. The decision to fund a case or not is based on the assessment of the legal merits of the litigation case at the time of application, as well as the financial terms that are agreed with the claimant.

Yes. The decision to fund a case or not is based on the assessment of the legal merits of the litigation case at the time of application, as well as the financial terms that are agreed with the claimant.

The funding amount is agreed at the outset on a cost budget that is fully expected to be met. Where costs overrun, a review of the situation and overrun in costs would have to be undertaken with the solicitor and the claimant. A decision will then be made, balancing the additional costs required versus the legal merits of the case and the impact on quantum.

An application can be made at any stage of proceedings, although it should be noted that funding at a very early stage when prospects of success and the costs of litigation are more difficult to ascertain may be too early.

Monies are transferred to the solicitor or lawyer’s client account, typically upon the verification of invoices for costs incurred.

Every litigation case is unique with different funding requirements, sometimes requiring funding for all the costs of a case or discrete costs, whether they be own side solicitor costs, disbursements, counsel’s fees, ATE insurance premia or deed of indemnity fees that the claimant is unable to or unwilling to fund. The decision to advance funding will depend on the merits and circumstances of each case.

Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) are agreements where the law firm is acting on a no win no fee basis for some, or all of the incurred fees. They act on the condition that if the claim is successful, that unpaid portion will be paid with a mark-up / uplift, capped at 100%.

Damages-Based Agreements (DBAs) are agreements where the law firm is acting on a no-win no-fee basis for some or all of the incurred fees. This is on the condition that if the claim is successful, the solicitor will receive a pre-agreed share of the award.

LionFish works with a large number of solicitors, both for single case funding, portfolio funding and also for WIP funding as based on the individual merits, and that solicitor’s suitability for the case. LionFish do not advise or seek to influence the litigant’s choice of solicitor.

Yes. Litigation cases are unique and some cases may be suitable for, or already have ATE or legal expenses insurance cover in place. Where it does not, this will be taken into consideration to arrive at the decision of whether to invest or not in the litigation matter.

Key Legal Terms

Adverse costs are the defendant’s costs that a claimant is ordered to pay by the courts in case of an unsuccessful outcome.

Part 36 of the CPR is titled “Offers to Settle” and aims to encourage a settlement to a dispute. It can be made at any time leading up to a trial.

The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) are a procedural code that sets a framework around how civil claims should be undertaken, so that the courts can deal with cases justly and efficiently and legal proceedings made cheaper and quicker.

Security for costs are amounts ordered by the court to the claimant to lodge monies on account in case the defendant is successful. The reason for giving such an order is a defendant’s reasonable belief – as agreed by the court – that its legal costs will not be paid for by the claimant in such a scenario.

If a defendant makes a Part 36 offer in a form, which is genuine and in accordance with Part 36 at least 21 days before the trial, then there are potential cost consequences for the claimant if the claim is won but for an amount which is less than the Part 36 offer. The simple principle of this is that the trial will have seemed unnecessary, when it could have been settled at the time of the Part 36 offer for an amount greater than what the court arrived at.

In such circumstances, to apply fairness, the claimant will typically be ordered to pay the defendant’s costs from the Part 36 offer (and interest) as a form of penalty for not accepting the offer, even though the claimant has won the case.