“Therium Access” not-for-profit funding initiative announces first grant awards to improve access to justice in the UK
- Inaugural grants will facilitate access to justice to over 1800 people in need of support
- First initiative of its kind dedicated to facilitating access to justice by the litigation funding industry
- Deadline for the next round of grant applications is 30 August theriumaccess.org
- The announcement of the first Therium Access grant awards coincides with Therium’s 10 year anniversary
Jersey, Channel Islands, 15 May 2019. Therium Group Holdings Limited, one of the world’s leading providers of litigation, arbitration and specialty legal finance, today announced the first recipients of grant awards by Therium Access, the firm’s not- for-profit funding initiative dedicated to facilitating access to justice.
The inaugural recipients include The Personal Support Unit, LawWorks, Crosslight Advice and the Suffolk Law Centre.
Therium Access is the first-of-its-kind initiative in the litigation funding industry. Grants awarded by Therium Access are intended to promote access to justice for those who lack the funds necessary to pursue or defend claims, as well as to projects that seek to improve access to justice.
John Byrne, Co-Founder and CEO of Therium Capital Management Limited, said: “We launched Therium Access two months ago and we are delighted to be announcing the first recipients of grant awards. The recipients have been selected on the basis that the funding provided by Therium Access will have a significant impact and help to improve access to justice for as many people as possible. Therium is ten years old this year and the making of this first round of grants is a fantastic way to mark our 10 year anniversary.”
Lord Falconer, Chairman of Therium Access Advisory Committee said: “This is a first for the litigation funding industry and will hopefully lead the way for further initiatives. The not-for-profit funding that Therium Access is providing to these projects will provide help for a large number of individuals who otherwise would not have received legal advice and assistance, in the light of years of punitive cuts to legal aid and advice funding by the state. I strongly support the initiative Therium have taken. And am proud to be Therium Access’ chair.”
Ellen Pereira, CEO of Personal Support Unit (PSU) said: “We are immensely grateful to Therium Access for their kind and most generous grant in support of four of our PSU services. In a difficult funding climate and with increased competition for limited funds, we are absolutely delighted that Therium Access is supporting our vital work of increasing access to justice. The funding will not only help us support more people accessing the civil and family courts but also help support our new delivery model, enabling us to reach more people in more places. From everyone here at the PSU, thank you once again for your generosity.”
Martin Barnes, CEO of LawWorks said: “LawWorks is delighted to have been awarded one of the first grants by Therium Access. The grant will fund our project to support solicitors providing pro bono advice and representation for social security benefit tribunal appeals. With bespoke training and supervision provided by LawWorks, pro bono volunteers are achieving success rates at appeal of over 90% of cases, ensuring that many vulnerable people receive the vital financial support to which they are entitled.”
Bruce Connell, CEO Crosslight Advice said: “We are incredibly grateful to have partners like Therium Access supporting our work with the most vulnerable. Like Therium, we believe that justice should be a universal concept and we are thrilled to be working with them to provide our clients with access to justice and improve their lives.”
Audrey Ludwig, Director of Legal Services of the Suffolk Law Centre said: “Suffolk Law Centre is England’s newest Law Centre. We work to offer access to justice for all, particularly the most vulnerable and those most impacted by the legal aid desert in Suffolk. Our services include weekly Legal Advice Clinics, a Family Support Court Helpdesk, and a discrimination casework service. We assisted over 1,500 people in our first year with advice, casework, legal education workshops, policy work and referrals to other services. We are extremely proud to be supported by Therium Access, and are delighted that with their generosity we can continue to support the diverse communities of Suffolk to gain equal access to justice, to challenge disadvantage and inequality, and to help them understand their legal rights, obligations and protections.”
Therium Access is the primary expression of Therium’s corporate and social responsibility programme. Therium Access dispenses with the criteria of funding for profit and has the sole purpose of facilitating access to justice by funding cases and projects which could not usually be funded on a commercial basis. Therium Access is a mark of Therium’s wider commitment to the pursuit of justice and the rule of law.
Therium Access accepts applications from charities and other entities whose services and projects facilitate access to justice or from those seeking assistance to obtain legal representation on cases (including defence). The applicant’s need and the impact of the grant will be important factors in our review process. The deadline for the submission of the next round of grant applications is 30 August 2019. Applications need to be made by legal representatives or the entity seeking a grant. The board of Therium Access is assisted by an Advisory Committee which is chaired by Lord Falconer, former Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Secretary of State for Justice.
Therium Access aims to support access to justice in the broadest terms and considers applications that further the following causes (in no particular order):
- The right to legal representation or due process;
- The proper and efficient administration of justice;
- The advancement of human rights;
- The promotion of equalityof rights and diversity;
- The protection of children, the elderly, the disabled, minorities, asylum seekers and other vulnerable or disadvantagedgroups;
- The advancement of environmental protection or improvement;
- The promotion of legal educationthat furthers the causes listed above; and
- Any othercase or project in which a person, group, or entity will not have access to justice without financial assistance.
Therium Access is intended to be a global initiative. Its initial focus is on the UK and it will be rolled out in other jurisdictions in a number of planned phases.
Therium is a leading global provider of litigation and arbitration and specialty legal finance, active in England and Wales since 2009. Over that period, Therium has funded claims with a total value exceeding £34 billion, including many of the largest and most high profile funded cases in the UK. With investment teams in the UK, USA, Australia, Spain and Norway, Therium has established a track record of success in litigation finance in all forms, including single case litigation and arbitration funding, funding law firms and portfolios of litigation and arbitration claims. Therium is also a founding member of the Association of Litigation Funders of England and Wales.
Therium Access and its not-for-profit funding is the latest innovation from Therium which has consistently been at the forefront of innovation in litigation finance, pioneering the combined use of insurance tools alongside funding vehicles, and introducing portfolio funding products into the UK. Therium’s ability to develop innovative funding arrangements and bespoke financial solutions for litigants and law firms complements its unmatched experience and rigorous approach to funding a wide range of commercial disputes throughout the world.
In Chambers and Partners’ inaugural litigation support directory 2018, Therium was ranked as a Tier 1 litigation funder, and Neil Purslow, the firm’s Chief Investment Officer, was named a leading individual in the litigation funding industry.
In February this year, Therium Capital Management was top ranked as one of the two “Leading” litigation and arbitration funding firms in the UK by legal and business directory Leaders League, in their 2019 ranking of litigation funding. Therium was also ranked as “Excellent” in the 2019 US ranking.
About the grant recipients
Law Works– grant for a national and well-known charity to provide funding over 3 years for their secondary specialisation project in welfare benefits law, where volunteer lawyers are trained, supervised and insured to enable them to represent clients on a pro bono basis in the Department of Work and Pensions tribunal. This is an existing project with a 90% success rate in appealing benefit cuts and approximately 270 people will receive assistance as a direct consequence of this grant.
Suffolk Law Centre– grant for a regional law centre which was only set up a year ago. It is the only law centre in Ipswich and serves Suffolk, which is a legal aid advice desert. The centre provides varied advice to those who cannot afford legal advice, including on family, immigration, discrimination and housing law matters, it also runs workshops in schools to tackle discrimination and provides support to litigants in person in the local Family Court. In the next 6 months alone, the centre is expected to provide advice and support to 500 people.
Personal Support Unit (‘PSU’)– grants for a national and well-known charity to provide funding for 1 year for three satellite services in Barnet, Coventry and Southend-on-Sea, and an underfunded and oversubscribed service in Preston, where volunteers provide support to Litigants in Person in court, mostly in respect of family law matters. It is anticipated that these 4 services will provide 3,400 sessions of support in this period.
Crosslight Advice– grant for a niche charity to provide funding for 1 year for the costs of a site in a deprived area of West London, where volunteers provide specialist debt advice and support. Many of the charity’s clients are vulnerable, with most having mental health issues and living below the poverty line. They provide a holistic service, with the aim of providing pre-emptive advice to keep people out of the justice system. It is expected that the grant will facilitate in-depth support for around 100 people.
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