Who we are

We are a team of litigators who advise a well-capitalised private fund on providing commercial litigation and arbitration funding in the UK, Australia, and around the world.

We have extensive disputes experience from the world’s leading litigation firms, strategic and financial expertise, and a deep network in the business and legal community.

We have practised in common law and civil law jurisdictions, and worked in private practice and in-house.

Our Investment Committee includes Lord David Gold and Ian Terry, two of the UK’s most experienced and distinguished litigators.

What we do

What

we do

As a litigation funding firm, we invest in commercial disputes brought by businesses, entrepreneurs, investors and shareholders, whether individually or seeking funding for class actions, at all stages of the litigation or arbitration process.

Our capital is used by companies and law firms to cover the legal fees and disbursements associated with pursuing a claim or to support business operations.

In return for our litigation and arbitration funding – which we usually provide on a non-recourse basis – we  share in any recovery obtained through settlement or ultimate adjudication of the case.

How we can help

We can help claimants by:

  • assuming the financial burden and risks of litigation, levelling the playing field and enabling the pursuit of claims that would otherwise not be realised
  • providing independent validation of your claim
  • unlocking some of the contingent value of your claim to support business operations
  • enabling businesses to remove the adverse accounting effects of litigation from financial statements
  • advising on legal teams and case management issues

We can help law firms by:

  • assisting your cash-flow management by removing client credit risk
  • sharing the risk associated with deferred fee arrangements
  • enabling you to expand your practice by taking on new matters and clients that require finance
  • participating in joint marketing and business development initiatives
  • providing our expertise and experience, free of charge, whenever we can assist the case

We can help investment professionals by:

  • providing an alternative source of capital for your cash-strapped portfolio businesses with valuable claims
  • protecting capital adequacy ratios under banking covenants
  • removing “above the line” litigation-related expenses
  • preventing the diversion of portfolio companies’ resources from operations

We can help insolvency practitioners by:

  • funding actions to recover value for creditors where there is no money to do so
  • advising on legal teams and case management issues

The Team

Lord David Gold

Lord David Gold

Investment Commitee Chair
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Ian Terry

Ian Terry

Investment Committee Member
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Robert Rothkopf

Robert Rothkopf

Managing Partner
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Simon Burnett

Simon Burnett

Partner
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Oliver Hayes

Oliver Hayes

Partner
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Jamie Houlker

Jamie Houlker

Finance Director
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Kylie Ansbro

Kylie Ansbro

Investment Manager
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Maya Shallita

Maya Shallita

Associate
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Anita Smith

Anita Smith

Executive Assistant
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Fraser Shepherd

Fraser Shepherd

Senior Advisor
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Nick Gardner

Nick Gardner

Senior Advisor
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Donny Surtani

Donny Surtani

Senior Advisor
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Edward Lam

Edward Lam

Senior Advisor
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Regulation

Balance Legal Capital is a funder member of the Association of Litigation Funders (ALF), the body responsible for the self-regulation of litigation funding in England and Wales. As a professional funder and member of the ALF, Balance abides by the Code of Conduct for Litigation Funders which was published by the UK’s Civil Justice Council in 2011.

Balance Legal Capital LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The Code sets out the standards by which all full funder members of the ALF must abide, including with regard to capital adequacy, the control of proceedings, settlement and the circumstances in which funding may be withdrawn. Further detail on the rules of the ALF can be found here. A full version of the Code of Conduct for Litigation Funders can be downloaded here.

Selected Credentials

Robert Rothkopf and Oliver Hayes recognised as Thought Leaders in Third-Party Funding by
Who’s Who Legal 2020

We are pleased to announce that Robert Rothkopf and Oliver Hayes have both been recognised as Thought Leaders in Third-Party Funding 2020 by Who’s Who Legal, a directory that identifies the foremost legal practitioners based upon comprehensive, independent research. Thank you to everyone who nominated us to the WWL researchers.

Ranked in Chambers and Partners UK and in Chambers and Partners APAC 2020.

As quoted in the Chambers guide, one market source said “My experience dealing with them has been seamless so far. You get a whole different range of funders, and Balance are very much at the professional end. They take a much more reasonable approach to the client and are easy to deal with when advising. Right at the top end of the market – they’re very rigorous with their analysis of matters.”

On Robert Rothkopf one market source says: “I think the one thing that really marks him out is responsiveness, he’s always on hand. Very bright, he picks up all the issues and asks all the right questions.” and on Simon Burnett “He is a prominent fixture in the class action space, taking on challenging and innovative cases.”

Robert Rothkopf recognised in 100 Global Leaders in Legal Finance by Lawdragon 2020.
RANKED IN CHAMBERS AND PARTNERS UK GUIDE 2019

They are known to have a “group of very high-calibre lawyers who are impressive and efficient to deal with.”

Clients say they are “technically astute, with strong service delivery, and flexibility over price and funding structures.”

Much more “responsive and flexible than some established funders.”

ROBERT ROTHKOPF, MANAGING PARTNER, RANKED IN CHAMBERS AND PARTNERS UK GUIDE 2019

A “super smart lawyer, adept at planning strategy and a pleasure to work with.” He is well regarded for his “technical expertise and commercial acumen” along with his “responsive and proactive manner.”

Funded one of the Top 20 Cases of 2018 according to The Lawyer Magazine.
chambers-leading-firm-2018-150x150
Ranked in Chambers and Partners UK Guide 2018.

An “energetic” funder, “a market disrupter”, “up and coming, and hungry”, “clever, bright, and able.”

“They are experienced litigators who understand what questions to ask and what the answers mean.”

Robert Rothkopf, Managing Partner, ranked in Chambers and Partners UK Guide 2018.

A “really dynamic individual,” praised for being “an extremely smart, able solicitor – it really feels like you’ve got an additional legal team with you that also recognise that it’s not their job to do the lawyering.”

Lord David Gold

Lord David Gold

Investment Committee Chair

Lord Gold, dubbed “the King of Litigation”, is widely recognised as one of the country’s leading and most distinguished litigators.

Lord Gold was made a partner of Herbert Smith LLP (now Herbert Smith Freehills LLP) in 1983. He was Senior Partner of the firm from 2005 – 2010 and in this role led the firm’s international expansion.

Upon retiring from the firm in 2011, Lord Gold established a strategic litigation advisory firm, David Gold & Associates, through which he continues to advise FTSE 100 and leading international companies, major investment banks and high-profile individuals on high-value commercial claims.

Lord Gold was appointed to the House of Lords in 2011.

As advisor to Balance Legal Capital, Lord Gold sits on the Investment Committee and reviews the fund’s investment opportunities. Lord Gold also brings his considerable expertise and experience to Balance’s case monitoring and advisory services on funded cases.

Ian Terry

Ian Terry

Investment Committee Member

Ian Terry is a pre-eminent litigator and an accredited mediator at One Essex Court. He was a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where he was Head of Dispute Resolution between 2006 and 2009 and the firm’s worldwide Managing Partner between 1996 and 2001.

In a legal career spanning almost four decades, Ian has been involved in many of the most high profile commercial disputes of the day. He has broad commercial experience involving many business sectors and jurisdictions. In addition to English High Court and appellate proceedings, Ian has extensive experience of arbitration and mediation. For a number of years Ian was one of a small number of litigators ranked in the top echelon by Chambers. “A fantastic super smart lawyer” who market sources hail as a “first rate brilliant tactician of considerable market standing” Chambers 2013.

Ian brings his immense experience to bear as a member of Balance Legal Capital’s Investment Committee, where he evaluates the fund’s potential litigation and arbitration investments.

Robert Rothkopf

Robert Rothkopf

Managing Partner

Robert founded Balance Legal Capital in mid-2015 to give its business and law firm partners the edge in commercial disputes and business operations.

Prior to founding Balance, Robert was a Senior Associate in the International Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Group at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP where he advised multi-national companies on commercial and investment disputes.

Robert’s commercial disputes experience has focused on the energy sector and includes representing a multinational energy company in a $150 million ICC arbitration concerning the impact of government-imposed price renegotiation in the coal industry; representing an oil & gas major in a dispute under a long term gas supply agreement in relation to an off-shore West African field; defending a Russian energy infrastructure company in LCIA arbitration proceedings; and advising an oil major on potential claims under a bi-lateral investment treaty related to corruption charges and maltreatment of company officers.

Robert has extensive private practice and in-house experience. Robert was a co-founder of HSF’s New York office, establishing a disputes practice in a new market from 2012 until 2015. Before that, Robert worked in HSF’s London and Moscow offices, and spent over a year in-house at BP’s specialist global dispute resolution team.

At Balance, Robert is a member of the Investment Committee and, together with the other partners, is responsible for deal origination, execution, and product development. Robert writes on current issues in funding, with a focus on international arbitration.

Robert is a Solicitor Advocate with Higher Rights of Audience in the Courts of England & Wales, has a law degree from BPP, and a Masters of Biochemistry (MBiochem) from Oxford University.

Simon Burnett

Simon Burnett

Partner

Simon has over twelve years’ experience advising clients on commercial disputes, most recently with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in London.

Simon’s experience includes defending a Russian client in relation to a multi-billion dollar claim brought in the High Court in London; advising a Fortune 500 Company on a dispute arising out of the sale of a UK subsidiary and related High Court proceedings; conducting a cross-border, multi-faceted bribery and corruption investigation for a FTSE 100 company; and successfully defending a Silicon Valley technology company in proceedings brought by the competition regulator.

Simon is responsible for Balance’s marketing and business development initiatives, deal origination and evaluation as well as sitting on Balance’s Investment Committee. Simon writes on developments in the area of litigation funding and innovation in the legal sector.

Simon is admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales as well as in multiple Australian jurisdictions.

Simon has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney, a Master of Laws from the University of NSW and an MBA from the London Business School.

Oliver Hayes

Oliver Hayes

Partner

Oliver joined the team at Balance Legal Capital in October 2015 to work on deal origination and due diligence, deal execution, investment monitoring and fundraising.

Prior to working at Balance, Oliver spent over 6 years as an associate in the dispute resolution team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, specializing in commercial litigation, investigations and contentious regulatory matters in the financial services sector.

Oliver’s experience includes: defending global investment banks in High Court proceedings brought in relation to complex financial products and transactions; acting for an international consulting firm in High Court proceedings brought by the trustees of a pension scheme; acting for a UK financial services provider in relation to a major loss of customer data; acting for an insurer in arbitration proceedings relating to an insurance coverage dispute; acting for a global custody bank on an investigation in relation to client overcharging on asset portfolio transitions; and acting for a UK financial services group in relation to legal and regulatory issues arising from a major misstatement in its published accounts.

Oliver worked in the London and Paris offices of Freshfields and in 2014/2015 went on secondment to the EMEA litigation team of Credit Suisse where he managed a portfolio of disputes and contentious regulatory matters.

Oliver is admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales. He has a law degree from BPP and a BA in Modern History from Oxford University.

Jamie Houlker

Jamie Houlker

Finance Director

Jamie joined the team at Balance Legal Capital in August 2018 as Finance Director. He has a background in private equity where he has over 7 years’ experience in fund structuring, finance, and operations. He was formerly Group Financial Controller for a pan European real estate private equity house where he managed the finance function across multiple funds with AUM in excess of GBP 1.4B. Prior to this Jamie had positions with Goldman Sachs and Macquarie Group after training with Deloitte.

Jamie is responsible for all aspects of financial analysis, control and regulatory compliance. He is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from the University of Wellington.

Kylie Ansbro

Kylie Ansbro

Investment Manager

Kylie joined the team at Balance Legal Capital in November 2015 as a consultant.

Kylie is a qualified Solicitor, and worked for four years at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, in the commercial disputes and arbitration teams.

Whilst at Freshfields, Kylie acted for a number of corporate clients in large-scale and multi-jurisdictional litigation and gained experience in litigation, arbitration and mediation. Kylie acted for a Russian businessman in high profile, multi-billion dollar proceedings in the High Court of England (Chancery and Commercial Divisions) over a period of three years. Other notable cases included: acting for a US company in a High Court claim arising from the disposal of a UK subsidiary; acting for court-appointed receivers in the recovery of billions in assets of a defendant in High Court proceedings; and advising corporate clients on anti-bribery and corruption issues and investigations.

From mid-2013, Kylie worked for two years as a Solicitor and then Senior Solicitor with the General Medical Council, conducting Fitness to Practise cases, and managing a team of junior lawyers and paralegals.

Kylie has a law degree from the University of Cambridge.

Maya Shallita

Maya Shallita

Associate

Maya joined the team at Balance Legal Capital in January 2019 as an Associate.

Maya is a litigator who has practiced in the areas of commercial litigation, property and family law before the Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia.

In 2017, Maya moved to London where she worked as a Case Manager at the Health and Care Professions Council. During her time at the Council, Maya conducted Fitness to Practice cases within 16 different health professions, managing complex cases involving criminal misconduct, medical negligence and mismanaged health. Maya also regularly represented the Council as sole advocate at Tribunal Hearings and contributed to the development of new policy.

Maya has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney.

Anita Smith

Anita Smith

Executive Assistant

Anita is the team’s Executive Assistant, taking care of diary management and other administration tasks.

Anita qualified as a solicitor in England in 1990 and later gained an MSc in Criminal Justice. Anita has owned and run businesses for the last 20 years in the UK and in New Zealand.

Fraser Shepherd

Fraser Shepherd

Senior Advisor

Fraser has practised as a commercial litigation lawyer since 1996, with a focus on complex cross-border disputes. After working at first-tier firms in New Zealand and London, and as the Head of International Litigation at a telecommunications company in Moscow, he became a Litigation Partner at the leading Australian firm Gilbert + Tobin.

Since 2011 he has practised as a Litigation Consultant in Sydney, working primarily with one of Australia’s largest financial institutions on its high-value disputes including several major class actions.

In 2019 he joined the Balance team as a Senior Advisor to the Investment Committee on litigation funding opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.

Nick Gardner

Nick Gardner

Senior Advisor

Nick Gardner is a specialist in intellectual property litigation. He practised with leading international law firm Herbert Smith (now Herbert Smith Freehills) in London for over 25 years where he was a partner and worldwide head of the intellectual property group.

His practice focused on the application of law to technology in the electronics, computing, telecommunications and internet areas. He has handled all types of intellectual property disputes (patents, copyright, trademarks, confidential information) as well as high value contractual disputes with technical content, for multinational clients across multiple jurisdictions.

He now practices as a consultant, independent adjudicator and mediator. He is an appointed adjudicator by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, determining internet domain name disputes. He is the Chair of the independent panel of experts appointed by Nominet (the organisation responsible for all UK domain names).

Nick advises the Investment Committee in relation to investments in intellectual property litigation and commercial disputes with highly technical subject-matter.

Donny Surtani

Donny Surtani

Senior Advisor

Donny is a specialist in commercial and financial disputes, with extensive experience in complex commercial litigation as well as international arbitration under various institutional rules. He was previously a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, where he worked on securities and shareholder claims, banking and accounting matters, civil fraud, quantum issues and the application of decision tree analysis to help clients quantify and visualise the litigation risk in their disputes. Donny is an accredited mediator and former chartered management accountant.

Since 2019 he has practiced as an independent advisor, barrister, arbitrator and mediator based in Toronto, Canada, with a focus on cross-border arbitration and mediation. Donny also practices as a barrister at Crown Office Chambers in London, and is dual-qualified in England and Ontario.

Donny advises the Investment Committee in relation to complex commercial disputes and group actions, and on complex quantum issues. He also evaluates litigation funding opportunities arising in Canada.

Edward Lam

Edward Lam

Senior Advisor

Edward Lam is a founding partner and lead fund manager at Somerset Capital Management where he manages AUM US$2.9 bn in Somerset’s Dividend Growth fund (as at June 2017).

As a member of Balance’s Advisory Board, Edward contributes his experience of launching and managing funds to help shape management strategy and implement best practice at Balance Legal Capital.