Law firm funder to lend millions to U.K. personal injury practices
SpectraLegal, a business created by BridgePoint Financial Group, has launched in England and Wales with plans to lend about £50 million to personal injury law firms during 2016, says BridgePoint chairman and CEO John Rossos.
Caution from traditional lenders and many reforms in the legal sector has resulted in decreasing options for personal injury law firms in England and Wales to fund their practices, he says.
Since opening in the U.K. in October, SpectraLegal has approved in excess of £10 million of loans to a handful of firms, including backing the expansion plans following Pure Legal's £13-million acquisition of clinical negligence specialist firm Pryers in December. A further £30 million of lending is in the pipeline, says a press release.
“The legal market in England and Wales represents a huge opportunity for our business because of the similar legal structure and our proprietary expertise,” Rossos says.
BridgePoint, Canada's top law firm financier, is a leading provider of litigation financing that has supported more than 750 firms over the past 11 years.
"We bring a deep understanding and appreciation of the market and far greater insight than other providers of capital,” says Rossos. “Our credibility is enhanced by the success of our clients in Canada and we expect to make the same impact on the British market that we have done in Canada.”
SpectraLegal is initially targeting personal injury firms operating on conditional fee and damages-based agreements through two types of financing facilities.
Its Costs Advance Facilities enables firms to draw down against expected costs awards in completed cases, releasing cash without having to compromise on costs claims, says the news release.
Meanwhile, its WIP (work in progress) and Disbursements Facilities aims to help firms monetize WIP and disbursements to progress cases, subject to a minimum of £200,000 for each facility, it says.
Steve Carter, SpectraLegal's chief operating officer, says the combination of the company’s secure position and market insight has struck a chord with firms, with new applications coming in all the time.
“Law firms like the fact that our business is based on growing those with whom we do business,” he says. “Unlike traditional investors, such as banks, we spend just as much time looking at the market as we do the firm's books. We delve deeper, make plans, organize and advise."