Reimagining
litigation funding
with technology

Third-party litigation funding isn’t new. As an asset class, it’s growing in a big way, but it’s reserved for the few: high-net-worth private investors backing large-sum cases for high-risk, high-reward investments.

Back in 2019, the team behind VWM Capital Litigation Fund spotted an opportunity to bring lawtech to litigation financing, open it up and create a niche but truly compelling investment.

Our vision was to apply automative technology to litigation funding decisions so a high number of low-figure cases could be assessed for the likelihood of successful outcomes. Litigators would get a quick decision, and the automated algorithmic logic would remove the guesswork, continuously improving itself with the data it obtained.

More people and businesses would be able to access justice, even when up against adversaries with deep pockets. Not only that: investors would have a low-risk alternative to traditional litigation funding, and one that would meet ESG criteria.

Meet our team

With decades of experience in litigation, finance and banking, we have the right team to drive forward our industry-first technology-based offering and deliver high-quality alternative investments.

James
Scragg

Chief Investment Officer

James is a co-founder of VWM Capital Litigation Fund and has over 27 years of experience working in investment banking, capital markets and alternative investments. He oversees the investment strategy and liquidity management of the fund.

Before founding VWM Capital Litigation Fund, James co-founded Victoria Wealth Management Ltd, an associate representative of Linear Investments. As Managing Director of the Capital Markets operation, James built up and oversaw the alternative investments desk.

Beginning his career in finance in 1994 as a broker for Societe Generale on the LIFFE floor trading futures and options, James went on to work in the Czech Republic and Austria for 11 years across investment banking, fixed income and corporate finance. He finally returned to the UK in 2011 to become one of Oppenheimer Europe’s top earners in fixed income covering European institutional investors.

James now uses his extensive knowledge of finance and banking in his role as Chief Investment Officer.

James
Silk

Chief Operating Officer

James is a co-founder of VWM Capital Litigation Fund and has over 23 years of experience working in investment operations, banking and capital markets. He oversees all operational aspects of the business.

Before founding VWM Capital Litigation Fund, James co-founded Victoria Wealth Management Ltd, an associate representative of Linear Investments, managing the operations and business-wide strategy.

James spent 10 years at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Intl, heading up the operations department, before moving on to Oppenheimer Europe Ltd, where he co-built the Fixed Income Trading team, managing a team of 20 sales traders.

Building on a career in finance and operations managing various fixed income roles, James is now focusing his expertise on VWM Capital Litigation Fund, in his role as Chief Operations Officer.

Marco
Distefano

Non-Executive Director

As Non-Executive Director, Marco provides external advice and objective oversight, monitoring everything from policies and planning to shareholder interests. He has over 20 years’ experience at executive and board level in the insurance industry, both in the UK and overseas.

After starting his career in the insurance industry at Aviva General Insurance UK as the Director of Major Programmes, Marco has held a number of high-profile roles, heading up Digital Strategy, Web Operations, Policy and Standards, as Commercial Transformation Director, and as the Managing Director of quotemehappy.com, General Accident and Aviva’s Business to Consumer Direct Channels. Marco is currently the Managing Director of AXA Retail UK.

A visionary leader who excels in creating conditions for outstanding results alongside honesty, trust and professional integrity, Marco brings over two decades of insurance experience to his role of Non-Executive Director.

Marco’s industry-leading knowledge and proven track record of inspiring teams and enterprise transformation make him an invaluable addition to the VWM Capital Litigation Fund leadership team.

Sarah
Whitehead

Portfolio Manager and Investment Committee Member

Sarah is a partner, portfolio manager and the head of legal for Sturgeon Ventures, the Portfolio Manager of VWM Capital Litigation Fund, and sits on our fund’s Investment Committee.

After studying English at Oxford, Sarah qualified as a solicitor and joined Clifford Chance’s investment funds department. Her time there included a year in Man Group’s derivative funds team in Switzerland. Sarah went on to spend 11 years at ING Group, first as a trading floor lawyer, then in the capital markets team, before becoming the head of debt capital markets for Russia and the CIS.

Subsequently, Sarah worked for five years at the Pemberton funds group as an inhouse legal and compliance advisor before joining Sturgeon in 2016.

Sturgeon Ventures acts as VWM Capital Litigation Fund’s Portfolio Manager, expertly guided by Sarah’s extensive experience.

Seonaid
Mackenzie

Portfolio Manager and Investment Committee Member

Seonaid Mackenzie is the founder of Sturgeon Ventures, the Portfolio Manager of VWM Capital Litigation Fund, and she sits on our fund’s Investment Committee.

Starting out in 1998 under the name Venture Catalyst, Seonaid ran what would become Sturgeon Ventures from a single-family office. Deciding to specialise in incubating companies and individuals in the financial services sector, Sturgeon pioneered ‘Regulatory Incubation’ in 2000 and has grown into a leading incubator and portfolio manager, authorised and regulated by the FCA, and a Registered Investment Advisor with the SEC.

Before founding Sturgeon Ventures, Seonaid worked in financial services as a US equity international stockbroker at prominent firms. She launched the first paid independent research product in the UK in 1995.

Seonaid has years of experience advising and managing portfolios and participating in investment committees and fund boards. She is a genuine out-of-the-box thinker and talks regularly about her journey as an entrepreneur.

Sturgeon Ventures is an award-winning provider of regulatory incubation and portfolio manager services to the financial services sector thanks to Seonaid’s vision, and VWM Capital Litigation Fund is proud to be able to offer her expertise to our investors.

What makes VWM Capital Litigation Fund different?

VWM Capital Litigation Fund is one of the first litigation funds to use algorithm-based technology to improve legal financing, make it more widely available quicker, and simultaneously offer lower-risk investments spread across more lower-value cases.

Our blended automated-human approach is unique in our sector and leads to better decisions about the cases we fund.

We take the emotion, intuition and guesswork out of the investment decision, and replace it with data, intelligence and experience.

We’ve developed the first socially responsible, algorithm-based model for safer investments in litigation funding. Now we aim to be the biggest.

“This is one area where automation technology can truly transform our sector. With VWM Capital Litigation Fund, we’re using it to create the investment grade equivalent of litigation funding.”

James Scragg, CIO, VWM Capital Litigation Fund

Get in touch to find out more

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