18 Mar 2021

Level receives £20m venture capital backing to help finance family law disputes

Investment sees 1818 Venture Capital take equity stake in the litigation funder

Level founder and CEO sees 'significant growth opportunities ahead'

UK-based private client and family law litigation funder Level has sold an equity stake in its business to Guernsey-based investors 1818 Venture Capital, part of a £20m deal that also refinances Level’s revolving credit facilities.

Level, which was launched in 2017, offers loans to clients and law firms in private client disputes, such as contentious probate and inheritance claims, trusts disputes and litigation against family offices. 

It also funds disputes over the division of asset and money claims on divorce, including for high net-worth family disputes, as well as related settlements, having worked with more than 200 law firms to fund such cases since inception.

George Williamson, founder and CEO of Level said the investment was ‘a testament to the strength of our team’, adding that the funder saw ‘significant growth opportunities ahead’.

Williamson added: “This new equity capital, combined with our new and highly flexible funding line, will allow us to capture those opportunities.”

Mark Smith, a partner at 1818 Venture Capital, said the new arrangements will “help Level accelerate its remarkable upward trajectory in an expanding market segment that can help give borrowers access to fairness and hence ‘level’ the litigation playing field.”

Marc Sefton, a partner at Quilam Capital, which originally backed Level in 2017, said: “We are delighted to see the business secure this round of funding, which will act as the springboard for future growth, new products and innovation within the business.”

The use of litigation funding was highlighted recently in the ongoing High Court enforcement of a 2016 award made following the Akhmedov divorce proceedings, Britain’s largest divorce case.

Mary-Ann Wright, managing partner at Manders Law, a City boutique which specialises in high net-worth family disputes, said: “Our clients are increasingly aware of litigation funding as another ‘tool in the box’ for bringing claims where there is a lack of immediate access to funds to meet the cost of vital legal advice.”

She added: “With clients increasingly choosing to use various methods of ADR (alternative dispute resolution) to resolve their issues as soon as possible, litigation funding is quickly available in many cases to allow matters to proceed smoothly and without delay.”

Raj Bhattoa, fellow partner at Manders Law, said: “Given the range of options open to clients, from court proceedings to mediation, it should come as no surprise that mechanisms to support valid claims are coming to the market, which we welcome, provided they meet the high standards the market expects of funders in business to business disputes.”

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