Start-up promises new era for access to litigation funding

The debate surrounding litigation funding has intensified, with a new provider hitting the market.

Key Business Finance is set to launch a series of fee-funding products to help offset the loss of legal aid.

Nick Sanders, managing director of Key, said: “The new way of fee funding means people have the freedom to choose which lawyer they want to instruct without the immediate financial worry. “We’ve developed a variety of funds that will give people greater access to justice – something that [Lord] Carter [of Coles] was supposed to be working towards.”

The various funds, for matrimonial litigation, professional negligence and inheritance tax, loosely work on a similar principle. A litigant would be offered the option of a third party paying for their legal costs until the action is settled. At settlement the litigant would then repay the costs, with interest of around 10 per cent.

The disclosure of the new funding comes after litigation funding hit the headlines at the beginning of this year.

Norton Rose client Stone & Rolls, a dissolved UK company, used funding from third party IML to sue Barlow Lyde & Gilbert client Moore Stephens, an accountancy firm, in a $173.6m (£87.17m) negligence claim (, 5 January).