Could litigation funding help you get fair legal advice?

In this episode, Tamsin talks to Hollie Orgee from litigation funding experts Ampla Finance about how their product can be used to ensure spouses are getting fair legal representation. This is particularly relevant where there has been financial or economic abuse or coercive control in a relationship.

amplafinance-Jan-17-2024-10-25-01-2721-AM Sponsored by Ampla Finance “To learn more about our podcast sponsor Ampla Finance:

And one of the team will be in touch.”


Hollie Orgee

Hollie Orgee, is the Partnership Director at Ampla Finance. With seven and a half years of experience as a family lawyer in Birmingham, Hollie brings invaluable expertise to our team. At Ampla Finance, we specialize in providing fair and transparent financial solutions tailored to individuals facing divorce and inheritance tax. With over 50 years of lending experience, we offer bespoke services designed to ease the financial strain during challenging life changes. Hollie's leadership ensures our clients receive the support they need to navigate these transitions with confidence and clarity. We're here to make a difficult time more manageable, providing flexible and compassionate assistance every step of the way.

Tamsin Caine

Tamsin is a Chartered Financial Planner with over 20 years experience. She works with couples and individuals who are at the end of a relationship and want agree how to divide their assets FAIRLY without a fight.

You can contact Tamsin at or arrange a free initial meeting using She is also part of the team running Facebook group Separation, Divorce and Dissolution UK

Tamsin Caine MSc., FPFS
Chartered Financial Planner
Smart Divorce Ltd

P.S. I am the co-author of “My Divorce Handbook – It’s What You Do Next That Counts”, written by divorce specialists and lawyers writing about their area of expertise to help walk you through the divorce process. You can buy it by scanning the QR code…



Tamsin Caine  0:06  
Today I'm going to be talking about litigation funding or litigation finance. With fabulous sponsors, Ampla Finance and the representative Holly. If you've been in a coercively controlling relationship, if you've been in an economically or financially abusive relationship, you may find that you don't have access to any funds to get fair legal representation to get equivalent legal representation to your ex. And this is something that litigation finance could be the solution to. So we're going to talk to Holly today. Let's jump right in. Hello, and welcome to the podcast. I'm delighted to be joined today by Holly Orgee who from Ampla Finance, Holly has a distinguished seven year career as a family lawyer in Birmingham behind her and now expertly bridges the worlds of law and finance, her invaluable experience and insight now drive drive the, they drive the partnership forward at Ampla Finance. So you might remember that we spoke to Nigel at Ampla Finance a few months ago. So if you are interested, after listening to Holly, please go back and listen to that one as well. But we're going to focus particularly today on coercive control and how litigation funding could be an option for people who find themselves in this situation. So welcome, Holly, thank you so much for joining me.

Holly Orgee  1:48  
Thank you for having me, Tamsin, I think the subject of the podcast today is really, really important for people to understand how financing their divorce proceedings, sort of can be done in different ways, and really how that can add a benefit to them. So thank you so much for having me. 

Tamsin Caine  2:06  
Oh, it's an absolute pleasure. It's something that that we've been talking about a fair bit recently. So we interviewed Matthew and Liz, who host their own podcast from solo a few episodes ago. And they mentioned how litigation finance could possibly be used. And then a you've got some thoughts on, on the benefits of using litigation funding as opposed to some other method?

Holly Orgee  2:33  
Yeah, absolutely. I think that for most people, litigation funding, using a loan to fund divorce proceedings is not something that necessarily is at the forefront of their mind, mostly, I think, because people don't realise that it exists, unless you need it. And unless you go to a solicitor and you speak about things of this nature, then it's not something that is going to be, you know, at the forefront of people's minds on an everyday basis. But I think that actually, it's becoming more and more important to level that playing field, particularly, as you've said, for vulnerable clients, for people who have been in relationships where they have had that control taken away from them in terms of their financial situation. And ultimately, when they then separate from that person, the rug is pulled from underneath them, and they find themselves without funds, normally, you know, cut off in very extreme circumstances, from any sort of financial support. And finding themselves in a situation where they can't access legal advice, they can't go to a solicitor, or they feel they can't do that, because they're not quite sure where that money is going to come from. And litigation funding really provides them with that choice, and puts the control back into their hands in a situation where they are going to need legal advice in order to get a settlement from a person who really does not want to engage in those those types of conversations. Because the whole relationship has been sort of marred by them controlling that that position, controlling the finances, and ultimately when that person leaves that situation, that they don't want to give them anything and shut up shop and don't want to engage in that. So I think it's very important that people understand and realise that this is an option for them. If they feel there are no other options.

Tamsin Caine  4:29  
Yeah, absolutely. So if you're, you know, if you've got no family that you can borrow money from, you've been cut off from from friends, which often happens in abusive relationships. And especially where there's coercive control. And probably all your forms of finances have been have been removed so you don't have access to bank accounts you've perhaps been given on a college spending money for the ones that were better for Raise, but you know, you've been given a certain amount each month previously, and potentially that you've not been cut off perhaps you've been preventing from working in the past. But you know, as a relationship in, in the relationship that you've been in, in the marriage that you've been in, you know, that they've been, there's, there's money, you know, you perhaps have a spouse who, who works, who has a very good job, who's high earning who drives around in a fancy car, and even though you don't have access to those assets, you know, that, that there are assets available. And I think that's where this really plays into, plays its hand really and enough as those people some sort of support.

Holly Orgee  5:47  
Absolutely, because I think what we see time and time again, and I saw when I was practising and I still see now, sadly, is that the person who has control of the finances will often say, I'm not going to give you money to fight me for my money, which, you know, is it's an old fashioned view, because ultimately, where you're married, those are joint assets, regardless of who controls the purse strings. But this option, litigation funding provides that person with the ability to give us a sort of broad spectrum of what the assets are, and borrow funds based on what they're likely to achieve at the end of settlement. So that they can go and get that legal advice so that they can ultimately just get what is fair and reasonable out of the matrimonial POS and what they are entitled to. So it really just puts that control back in their hands, it means that they're not stuck in a situation where the persons saying, I'm not going to give you any money, you're not entitled to anything, it allows them to actually go seek legal advice, really understand what it is they're entitled to what it is they're going to achieve. And I think where you're in that situation, it's actually even more important that there's access to this type of funding for those clients, so that they can get proper advice from a solicitor and ultimately, you know, get that outcome that they're entitled to.

Tamsin Caine  7:18  
Yeah, absolutely. You know, it's, as you said, before, it's not the best book or like, No, it's not the ideal situation for somebody going through divorce. But it's an incredibly valuable option for some people who, who really need it and don't have other options available to them. So let's get a bit stuck in the nitty gritty, so do a crime. I'm stuck at home, thinking. He's controlling everything, we do have money. But I can't get at it. He's engaging with goodness only knows what lawyers and barristers and I can't get any legal support myself. What where do we start in terms of in terms of looking into the option of litigation finance.

Holly Orgee  8:08  
So we are more than available to speak to clients directly. At the first instance, the person doesn't have to have a solicitor to make contact with us to speak with us to understand really how litigation funding works. So actually, from our perspective, we're happy for for inquiries to come in, we do have a website, which provides a lot of information for potential borrowers, even where they don't yet have a solicitor so they can go online, they can have a look at our fact sheets, they can do an online inquiry, where they just put in a few really simple details, we can come back to them, and talk them through the process of start to finish how that would look for them, we can talk to them about what the interest rates would be talk to them about the process and what we would need to understand in terms of the assets of the parties. And then once they know or once they have an idea that this is in place, they can then go to a solicitor with the knowledge that actually it's likely I can get this funding, so they can then go and speak to a solicitor have that first initial appointment, and then the solicitor can then continue and progress that inquiry on their behalf.

Tamsin Caine  9:25  
Okay. So essentially, they're going to need to apply via but they can get information from you so that they at least know where they stand and whether there's a possibility of being able to achieve this before they go into the Solicitor's Office.

Holly Orgee  9:41  
Absolutely, yes. And you know, we speak to borrowers all the time directly, so that they are empowered really with the knowledge and all of the information that they need to be able to make the best decision for for them. Because ultimately, our ethos at ampler is that the client the borrower comes first. So ever Everything that we do all the decisions that we make are really geared up to put that person at the forefront, which means being transparent, being fair, being open, and ultimately giving them all of the information that they need to be able to consider whether litigation funding is the right option for them.

Tamsin Caine  10:17  
Brilliant! And what's the litigation funding based on what are you looking at when you when you're assessing whether somebody is appropriate for this type?

Holly Orgee  10:29  
Absolutely. So we really look at the capital assets. So things such as a family home, any other properties that are owned by the parties, and we don't necessarily need the potential borrower to have any assets in their name, which is why it's so perfect for those clients who have been controlled financially by their partner, and who potentially have never had even a bank account in their own name because of that coercive and controlling relationship. So we look at the value of those assets. And what we look at is never lending more than 30% of what the borrower is going to achieve as a settlement. And we then do a second check back to make sure that with those funds that the borrower has, at the end, once the loan has been repaid, and the interest on the loan has been repaid, that they are going to be able to meet their housing needs. So that's either purchasing a property either mortgage free, or if they've got mortgage capacity with a mortgage, or making sure that they're going to be able to rent long term and provide themselves with with housing. And that's again, part of our ethos that they really has to be a benefit for that borrower of having this litigation funding in place of having this finance, because we want to ensure we are really getting them what they need at the end of the process.

Tamsin Caine  11:54  
Okay, so the need the marriage needs to have asset. So if there's, if you live in a rental property don't have any savings. This is probably not for you know, exactly. But if there's if you know that there's a family home available, what happens if that, if you think there's money, you you live in a big family, large family home, you can see that your fastest driving around in particular car, you know that you have annual Ski holiday and the summer holidays are paid off. You live the lifestyle, but you don't know what there is? Well, where would somebody like that be?

Holly Orgee  12:43  
So we can often try and assess a case based on what the client knows, right? We may be slightly more cautious where there hasn't been any sort of financial disclosure or particularly where the person has been the financially vulnerable party in the marriage. And we may look to just release a certain amount of funding in the first instance until the parties have gone through the financial process of disclosing the assets to each other in the normal way, either in a voluntary process or through the court proceedings. So that hopefully, more information is then gathered about the assets. And we can then look to reassess whether there are the assets there that the borrower thought they were, and whether that loan still works for them.

Tamsin Caine  13:38  
Okay, so it's not a one off? Like this is the amount we're prepared to give you in that that it could be reassessed later, later on in the process. So if it came to it, and there were much more assets than you ever thought when disclosure have been done, the potential that that borrowing could be could be available.

Holly Orgee  14:03  
Yeah, exactly. So in some circumstances, we're able to extend borrowing for clients, because the asset basis is larger than was first thought. We just want to ensure when we're looking and making those assessments that we are not overextending for the borrower, because we want to ensure that they are getting what they think they're going to get at the end of the process. So yes, there is always the option of extending where financial disclosure hasn't been exchanged between the parties where one person is still slightly uncertain about what there is, we will take a far more cautious approach to ensure that they are not sitting with a big debt that they couldn't service if the assets aren't what they thought they were at the outset. 

Tamsin Caine  14:49  
That makes sense. I guess. I'm thinking about it and, and I know a little bit about litigation funding, but Well, we haven't explained is actually what it is. 

Holly Orgee  15:00  
So in terms of litigation funding or litigation finance, we are able to offer loans to clients who are going through divorce proceedings, to pay their legal costs, whether that's solicitors, fees, barristers, fees, any other costs that are associated with the process of getting to a financial settlement. And that could include paying for experts fees. So if there needs to be an accountant, if there needs to be somebody to value your property, we're able to fund for all of those those elements, we can also fund for children matters. So if there is a dispute in relation to the arrangements for the children, we're able to fund for those as well if there is an ongoing financial case as well. And there are other matters that we can fund as well, such as sometimes we're able to look at funding for cohabitees, those are in sort of more limited circumstances, but we're able to consider different types of funding where the ultimate umbrella is sort of family issues.

Tamsin Caine  16:05  
Okay. And this, is litigation funding only available for the court process? Or is it available for non court dispute resolution as well.

Holly Orgee  16:18  
So we are able to fund for mediation, private SDRs and also arbitration. So I think it's really important that people understand that they don't have to go through the court process. And I think that's something probably that solicitors say to clients all the time is that actually, there are different options for them in terms of progressing and pursuing a settlement. So our funding is available for parties going through arbitration, which is a much more condensed process, and actually is where litigation funding is really important, I think for for those types of clients who don't necessarily want to get caught in in the, you know, the long court process, even where clients are in the court process, but actually want to explore that alternative way of resolving issues, we are able to fund for those as well. We just want to ensure when we're looking at those alternative ways of funding that if, for example, the private FDR mediation broke down and a settlement or an agreement couldn't be reached, that we could ensure we could fund to a final hearing to make sure that we're getting the borrower to a final outcome, rather than them being sort of stuck. If the alternative route, you know, doesn't come to fruition, that they're stuck, then without having any options, we want to make sure that we can cover those scenarios.

Tamsin Caine  17:52  
Okay, that's interesting. So I obviously have a question. So how do you do that? How do you because going, the cost from my understanding of going through the court process to a final hearing is eye watering or can be eye watering, though an arbitration is not a low cost process. So who to ensure that enough to go through the entire court process, as well as arbitration that that's the significant, presumably significant.

Holly Orgee  18:27  
So in terms of arbitration, it's slightly different, because arbitration results in a binding outcome. Of course, for arbitration, we don't necessarily need to be concerned about that process not working out. But more in terms of mediation, we get to FDR process, we want to ensure that if the private FDR didn't result in an outcome, and when the parties then fall back into the normal court process, and I say normal in sort of inverted commas, when they fall back into the that court process that we can continue to fund that case, if they do need to then go to a final hearing arbitration because of the binding nature of the award. We can fund that process in its entirety, we would just talk to the solicitor and the client about the possibility of an appeal. And whether or not there may need to be some further costs considered in that scenario. But actually, you know, the the arbitration process and the court process are very similar, apart from the fact that in arbitration, the parties have much more control over the process. And funding in that way, means that it gives them a fund to choose their judge choose where they go through their arbitration, if they want to do it at a nice hotel, if they want to do it in a country manner that they can choose where they go through that process which for some people Actually, because the costs are sort of spent in a very short period of time. That's not a reality for some people, because they just don't know where they're going to get that money from to pay for all of those things. But actually litigation funding and financing the proceedings in that way, gives them that no pot of money to draw on when they need to. And actually, arbitration is normally concluded much more quickly than the court process, and much more bespoke. And for clients who don't want to be questioned for clients that don't want to stand up in court and have to talk, the arbitration process is completely bespoke, completely customizable to, however, the parties want to go through that process. So for me, funding for arbitration really gives clients an option, and then sometimes can can get better results.

Tamsin Caine  21:00  
You're saying this has nothing to do with litigation funding. But I'm just interested, though, you're seeing more and more people using arbitration. And I obviously know you're no longer on this list because you are at Ampla, are Ampla finding that they're funding for arbitration much more?

Holly Orgee  21:19  
I think not at the moment, because I do think that there is still a sort of focus and a fallback on the court process, because it's familiar to people. And arbitration is unfamiliar to a lot of people. And it's, it is sort of something that clients are either very on board with, or it's quite scary to them. And I think that is because where litigation funding hasn't necessarily been considered. It is a lot of money to find in a very short space of time. So actually, the court process, sort of, I guess, elongated the time over which we're having as much each month, and there's sort of a false economy to that. But it's, I guess, it's a known, it's a known entity. It's a known process. It's, as I said, familiar to people. But where I'm going out and speaking with solicitors, where I'm speaking to borrowers, I do always talk about using funding in that alternative dispute resolution, to follow a different process, especially given the court delays, and the fact that most people are going to be in that process for a long time. It's very, very stressful. So I hope that we will start to see a bit of a shift and more solicitors coming to us to talk about alternative ways of progressing family matters to settlement.

Tamsin Caine  22:48  
Yeah, now I'm absolutely with you some of the court delays that I've heard recently, eye watering...What? So we've talked about the the borrowing end, what brought the pain back, and how does that work.

Holly Orgee  23:04  
So every borrower pays their loan back at the end of the proceedings, once any order that has either been negotiated between the parties and agreed or set down by the court, once that's been implemented, and that will often result in either the sale of a property, so the sale of the family home, or a lump sum being paid to the borrower, then they repay us once that come to fruition. So there's no repayments prior to that point. They don't have to make any monthly contributions to the loan. They can if they want to, but it's absolutely not necessary. And actually, the majority of of borrowers Don't, don't do that. So we will have repayment, once the family home has sold or any of the properties sold, or once the client, the borrower has received a lump sum payment to them, which means that unfortunately, we can't lend if there's going to be a deferred sale of a property. So if there are small children, if the property is not going to be sold immediately, we can't lend in those situations, because for the borrower, it would mean interest running for, you know, who knows, it could be a number of years, which is just not in their best interest.

Tamsin Caine  24:23  
Sure. Oh, that makes sense. So, so it's not a case that the settlements failed by the court, then to the borrower, and then suddenly, the borrower's got to find all of the money because there's a piece of paper saying what they're going to get. It's, it's literally it's once the money's in, in their hands before they have to pay that back. .

Holly Orgee  24:46  
Exactly. And ultimately, we work with the borrower at that point, which we know there's been a settlement to make sure that the timeframes are understood by us so we know when repayment is going to be so that we know how they're getting on Then of a property. So we make sure that we have those those touch points with with the borrower to ensure that, you know, the repayment is made. And they can then go purchase their property or go and find a rental property and do what it is they need to do with those funds. 

Tamsin Caine  25:16  
Brilliant. I like that. That's good. That makes that makes a lot of sense. And something that I want to come back to that I forgot to ask you before is about is that independent legal advice. So because the the litigation funding is arranged through it? And then that you recommend that they take independent legal advice regarding their borrowing? Could you just explain a little bit about, about why and what that process looks like as well?

Holly Orgee  25:49  
Yeah, of course, I think for us, and particularly from financial services perspective, it's really important that every borrower properly understands the process that they're entering into the documentation behind that sits behind the loan. So the credit agreement that they will be signing up to understand the obligation on them and any conditions on the loan. So they every borrower where a loan offers made, and they accept that offer has to take independent legal advice. And that's to ensure that they are not being sort of forced into taking that borrowing, that they fully understand what they're signing up to. So at the point at which they, they accept the loan offer, they can either use our panel solicitor to take the independent legal advice, or they can go and find their own solicitor, if they've already got somebody in mind, they can go to that person, who will then hopefully go through the process will talk to them about the risks of of taking this type of loan. We'll talk to them about as I said, the obligations and really make sure that they fully understand what they're signing before they take the loan. 

Tamsin Caine  27:03  
Okay, I didn't know you had a panel, that's great. So the independent person that they're talking to, are they also a family solicitor? Or are they a different type of solicitor? 

Holly Orgee  27:16  
Yeah, absolutely. There are different types of solicitor they're not a family solicitor. They're a solicitor who ultimately is able to explain the process of taking the loan and the financial risks and elements to that process to listen to the client. 

Tamsin Caine  27:31  
Okay. I didn't know that either. Hey, girl, I'm learning loads today. This is great. We're probably coming towards the end of our conversation today. Is there anything that I should have asked you that I haven't? 

Holly Orgee  27:46  
No, I don't I don't think so. I think that, for most people, litigation funding is not going to be something that is suitable for everybody, that it should be taken by every single person, you know, it's not something that we would advocate is a project that, you know, every person getting divorced should use. But I think there's most definitely a place for litigation finance, in the divorce area, to really level the playing field for clients who potentially don't have any other options, to make sure that there's a quality of legal advice between parties, which really ensures that those clients who are most vulnerable and probably coming out of a situation, which is, you know, the worst time of their life, have the ability to take legal advice, which for some people, is going to be the most important thing that they can do to ensure that they get a fair outcome. So for me and going to speak to solicitors, it's very important that borrowers know that we exist can understand the benefits of having legal advice, to know that ultimately, we are here to how can those types of situations and ultimately, we hope that that gets the borrower a better outcome or an outcome at all? Because had they not had that fund to take legal advice? They may have just had to walk away from what could have been a long marriage. And you know, ultimately, that that doesn't have any element of fairness to it. 

Tamsin Caine  29:24  
Absolutely. That's a great note to end on. Totally agree with that. Holly, thank you so much for joining me today. It's been brilliant talk to you and I have learned a huge amount I'm sure our audience as well. Thank you for joining us today and we'll see you on the next episode. 

Holly Orgee  29:41  
Thank you

Tamsin Caine  29:47  
I hope you enjoyed the episode of the Smart Divorce podcast. If you would like to get in touch please have a look in the show notes for our details or go onto the website Also if you are listening on Apple podcasts or on Spotify and you wouldn't mind leaving us a lovely five star review. That would be fantastic. I know that lots of our listeners are finding this is incredibly helpful in their journey through separation divorce and dissolving a civil partnership. Also, if you would like some further support, we do have Facebook group now. It's called 'Separation divorce and dissolution UK.' Please do go on to Facebook, search up the group and we'd be delighted to have you join us. The one thing I would say is do please answer their membership questions. Okay, have a great day and take care!

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