Targeting cases worth less than £1m, Augusta Ventures is believed to be one of the first companies in the UK prepared to offer investment prior to litigation being pursued.

In what could become a valuable asset to those struggling to cover the initial outlay of assessment fees, Augusta Ventures have pledged to cover the cost of an opinion from a solicitor and if required, that of counsel also.

In terms of their own assessment of merits, Augusta claim that qualification for their litigation finance will be no different from the manner in which businesses would acquire any other loan.

For them, this process will consist of an extensive review of the case, it's merits and importantly, the prospects of recovery.

Speaking on their recent pledge, Engagement director Jeunesse Edwards said: ‘We recognise that just getting to the point of deciding whether a case is worth pursuing can be expensive and off-putting for would-be claimants. This expanded offering allows meritorious claims to get over this first hurdle and assists solicitors to generate more work.’

A hidden advantage of having the case assessed so rigorously prior to funding being released is that an indirect indication is given to the defendant that a strong case is being brought against them before they are even able to get an idea as to it's detail.

Edwards went on to acknowledge this point saying that the prospect of early assessment is projected to also help to speed up the litigation process in general by perhaps persuading defendants to settle cases.

‘The fact that a case has been so thoroughly vetted before being taken forward will send a very strong message to the defendant,’ she added.

The popularity of third-party litigation funding has spiked since the introduction of the Jackson reforms in April 2013, Augusta themselves having funded 64 cases to date after starting up at the end of 2014. With this latest development going even further into the pre-action stage of the litigation process, it is difficult to know where the rise of third party funding will end.