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Funding to assist individuals with their legal costs allowing solicitors to get on with resolving their cases

About us

We recognise that many people expect to receive a significant financial settlement at the conclusion of their legal proceedings, but cannot access funds for legal fees in order to reach that point.

At Level, we believe our role is to make the route to financing legal costs the least stressful part of a challenging process.  

During the most pivotal, difficult and life-changing moments, it is vital to have the very best legal advice, support and expertise at hand.

Assets are often held in just one party’s name, creating an imbalance in the level of representation the parties can afford.

So we’ve developed a financing solution that assists both solicitors and their clients with the legal costs of divorce to create a level playing field.

What we do

We are an independent lending boutique with in house family law expertise, who work with a select group of top family law firms in the UK.

We provide funding to cover the legal costs of individuals going through divorce, ensuring the strategy of the case won’t be hindered by lack of access to funds and a financial settlement can be reached.

Why Us

Family Law Specialists

Our in-house family law and financial expertise enables us to quickly grasp the legal complexities within a case. We provide bespoke and competitive lending solutions on simple or often, highly complex cases.

Fast

Being an independent boutique, we make fast decisions. We can usually provide an in-principle offer within 24 hours. This level of efficiency continues throughout the proceedings.

Personal Service

We are a small and dedicated team, providing a highly personal service to solicitors and borrowers.  We pride ourselves on exceptional responsiveness.

Reputation

Level mirrors the first-class service offered by the elite family law firms and are recognised for this approach throughout the industry.

Information for borrowers

If you require funding to assist with your legal costs, Level may be able to financially support you throughout your legal proceedings to case conclusion.

Level will fund solicitors’ fees and disbursements including barristers’ fees during legal proceedings whether through court, mediation or arbitration.

Level can provide fully secured or unsecured lending, depending on your circumstances and will compensate borrowers who have stronger security with a lower interest rate.

Level will agree a maximum loan facility based on the circumstances of your case which will be paid into your solicitor’s client account.  Each time your solicitor raises an invoice he or she will ask for your consent to pay it from the loan facility held by Level.

Level can also provide a separate facility to cover reasonable living expenses.  

You will only pay interest on the amount you draw down and the capital and interest only becomes repayable upon the conclusion of the case.

What can I use a Level loan for?

Our loans can be used to fund legal expenses relating to your divorce proceedings. This includes your solicitor’s fees and any disbursements, such as fees for Counsel of other experts such as forensic accountants or surveyors.

Level can also provide a separate facility to cover reasonable living expenses.

At the outset, we will agree an upper facility for your loan with you and your solicitor.  During your divorce proceedings, as and when your solicitor raises an invoice (subject to your approval) we will disburse the funds directly into your solicitor’s client account.

What are the advantages of a Level loan?

Level is one potential funding option available to you and you should explore all other funding options to ensure you chose the most suitable solution.

Credibility – a loan from Level will be taken into account by a judge as a liability on your side of the balance sheet, whereas a loan from friends or family might be considered a ‘soft’ loan, and not given the same weight.

Speed – with our in-house legal and financial experience we are able to make very quick lending decisions.

Flexibility – you can draw down from the loan at any point during the proceedings.  Interest is only paid on the amount drawn down for settlement of invoices.

No payments upfront – borrowers only pay Level at the conclusion of their proceedings, once the settlement has been paid.  Interest is only paid on the amount drawn down for settlement of invoices.

Does my solicitor benefit from or recommend the loan?

Your solicitor receives no financial incentive from Level, nor do they recommend Level to you.

However, you and your solicitor will benefit from the loan in the sense that all legal costs and disbursements are paid without delay, meaning the strategy of the case will not be hindered by lack of access to funds.

How should I apply?

In the first instance, please either contact us directly or ask your solicitor to enquire on your behalf.  You must have already appointed a solicitor in order to apply.

As part of the application process we will ask your solicitor to provide us with some information about your case, such as the stage you are at in the process, the likely value of your financial settlement and other significant facts.  Your solicitor will have calculated the size of loan you will need in order to reach the conclusion of your case.

Once we have received your application, we will speak to your solicitor and make a lending decision, usually within 48 hours.

How much will it cost me?

Our costs are designed to be as simple and transparent as possible. 

Level usually charges an administration fee of £500 or 1% of the facility if higher. You can elect to pay this fee upfront or add it to the loan.

Level is a bespoke lender and our interest rates range from 1%-2% per month (12%-24% per annum)* depending on your case.

The rate of interest will be fixed from the outset so you will know exactly what your repayment amount is going to be, regardless of any fluctuations in the interest rate.

Interest is only accrued on the money draw down and is rolled up, only becoming payable when the loan is settled at the end of the loan agreement.

Interest is calculated on a flat rate, unlike most lenders we do not charge ‘interest on interest’ resulting in a significantly lower APR, than if the interest compounded.

*Representative example: amount of credit £100,000 for 12 months.  Interest rate 18% per annum. Interest £18,000. Administration fee of £1,000 (1% of the facility).  Total repayable £119,180.  Representative 19.20% APR

Do I need to take independent advice?

Yes; as with any arrangement of this kind, we will ask you to seek independent legal advice before entering into the loan agreement with us. We or your solicitor can recommend an appropriate independent solicitor if needed.

If your loan is to be secured over your property, you will be required to take independent mortgage advice to confirm the loan is suitable.  Again, either your solicitor or Level can recommend a suitable advisor.

When do I have to pay off the loan?

We will agree a time period for each individual loan depending on your circumstances.  This will usually hinge on the timing of specific events, for example the payment of a lump sum from your former spouse or the sale of a property.

The loan must be paid off in one single payment.

If your loan is secured over property, the maximum loan term will be 12 months.

When do I have to pay off the interest on the loan?

The interest is rolled up and only becomes payable at the end of the loan term when the loan itself is repaid.

What if I am able to pay the loan off earlier than expected?

That is absolutely fine – there are no penalties for paying the loan early, either in a single payment or by instalments.

What is my solicitor’s role in my Level loan?

The loan agreement is between you and Level, but your solicitor does play an important role in the process.

You must have already appointed a solicitor when you apply for a loan with us.  Your solicitor can either provide you with our details or you may inform your solicitor that you wish to take a loan with us.

Your solicitor will complete a simple application form which provides us with information about your case such as your likely settlement sum and the amount you wish to borrow.  They are also obliged to keep us informed of any significant changes in circumstances that may affect the settlement you are likely to receive.

Your solicitor provides an undertaking to pay the loan plus interest back to Level as soon as your settlement sum is received.

Once your loan facility is approved we will transfer the agreed sum into your solicitor’s client account.  Each time your solicitor raises an invoice he or she will ask you to approve it before drawing down the funds from their client account.

At the conclusion of your case, your solicitor will return any funds that have not been drawn down and pay back the loan plus interest and set up fee out of your settlement sum before passing the balance on to you.

What credit checks will you perform?

We will undertake a credit check as part of our due diligence. We will require your permission prior to doing this.

Is my home at risk?

If the loan is secured over your home, as with any mortgage, your home may be at risk if you fail to repay the loan.

What happens if I change solicitor?

The loan is linked to your current solicitor as only approved family law firms can use our funding offering. Any new solicitor you appoint would have to be approved by us in order to use our funding offering, otherwise this would constitute a breach of the loan agreement and the loan will need to be repaid in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

Can I dispense with a solicitor altogether and act for myself?

The loan is linked to your current solicitor as only clients of approved family law firms can use our funding offering. If you choose to act for yourself, you will be in breach of the agreement and the loan will need to be repaid in accordance with the terms of the loan agreement.


IF YOUR QUESTION IS NOT ANSWERED ABOVE, PLEASE CONTACT US.

Information for Solicitors

We will provide funding to eligible clients until they receive their financial settlement, enabling them to meet your fees in a timely manner.

Level will enter into a single agreement with certain approved law firms which will then cover all loans that we provide to their clients.

Level will fund financial proceedings, children matters and ToLATA cases, whether your clients are using arbitration, mediation, collaborative law or the courts. We will cover your fees and disbursements, including Counsel’s fees.

Level can also provide a separate facility to cover reasonable living expenses.  

The loan is provided as a flexible facility, which is drawn down by you, subject to your client’s approval, as and when invoices and disbursements become payable. This is paid directly into your client account improving your cash flow and allowing you to concentrate on your client’s case.

Loans can be secured or unsecured and will be tailored to the individual circumstances of each client’s case.

How do we enter into an agreement with Level?

Before you and your clients can use our lending offering, your firm will need to sign up to our terms of engagement. Please get in touch for more information.

What are the lending criteria for my client to be considered?

We look at each application on a case by case basis and will ask your opinion on the likely success of their case.

We will undertake our own credit checks, with your client’s permission.

We can lend on a secured or unsecured basis.

How does my client apply for borrowing?

We will ask you and your client to complete our application form, which can be found through our online login. We will swiftly assess your client’s eligibility for a loan and aim to give you an initial lending decision within 48 hours.

What can the loan be used for?

The loan is used to pay your fees and any disbursements, including Counsel’s fees.

The proceeds of the loan will be paid directly into your client account, once your client has approved your invoice.

Level can also provide a separate facility to the client to cover reasonable living expenses.

How does the drawdown facility work?

Upon application, we will agree an upper facility amount.  This is designed to cover all your client’s anticipated legal costs through to the conclusion of their case.

Each time a drawdown is requested to settle an invoice, once we have received your client’s authorisation, Level will release the monies directly into your firm’s client account.

What undertakings do we need to provide?

No financial undertakings are required.

Solicitors must agree to take receipt of the settlement into their client account and ensure that Level is repaid any outstanding sums from their client’s settlement figure before passing the balance on to their client.

They must also undertake to inform Level of any changes in their client’s case which could affect their ability to repay the loan.

Are there any penalties for early repayment?

No there are no early repayment penalties.

How much will the loan cost my client?

Our costs are designed to be as competitive, simple and transparent as possible. 

Level usually charges an administration fee of £500 or 1% of the facility if higher. Your client can elect to pay this fee upfront or add it to the loan.

Level is a bespoke lender and the interest rates range from 1%-2% per month (12%-24% per annum)* depending on the case.

The rate of interest will be fixed from the outset so your client will know exactly what your repayment amount is going to be, regardless of any fluctuations in the interest rate.

Interest is only accrued on the money draw down and is rolled up, only becoming payable when the loan is settled at the end of the loan agreement.

Interest is calculated on a flat rate, i.e. unlike most lenders we do not charge ‘interest on interest’ resulting in a significantly lower APR, than if the interest compounded.

*Representative example: amount of credit £100,000 for 12 months.  Interest rate 18% per annum. Interest £18,000. Administration fee of £1,000 (1% of the facility).  Total repayable £119,180.  Representative 19.20% APR

Does my client have to take independent legal or financial advice?

If we are taking security over your client’s property, your client will need to take independent advice from a mortgage adviser to confirm suitability.

In all cases, we require your client to take independent legal advice once they have received the documentation, to ensure that they understand the agreement they are entering into.

When does my client have to repay the loan?

This is decided on a case-by-case basis and will usually be linked to a specific event such as the sale of property or receipt of a settlement figure.  If we have taken a legal charge over your client’s property as security for the loan, the maximum loan duration is 12 months.

What happens if my client changes solicitor or decides to act in person?

The loan is linked to your firm and only approved family law firms can use our service with their clients.  Therefore any new solicitor your client appoints would need to be approved by us, otherwise the loan would need to be repaid in accordance with the terms of the loan agreement.

Similarly, if your client decides to act in person that would constitute a breach of the clients loan agreement and the loan would need to be repaid in accordance with the terms of the loan agreement.


IF YOUR QUESTION IS NOT ANSWERED ABOVE, PLEASE CONTACT US.

The Team

Our small and dynamic team includes in-house family law and financial expertise, meaning we have a profound insight into the emotional, financial and time pressures associated with divorce.

Katie Alexiou

Qualified family solicitor and co-founder

I graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford before completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practitioners’ Course at The College of Law, London.

I trained at what was then the country’s number one firm for family law, Manches LLP in London, before qualifying into their family department where I represented people dealing with all aspects of divorce, separation and children issues.

For the last four years I have run my own divorce consultancy, advising and assisting my clients through the divorce process.

In addition to my director and board responsibilities at Level, I conduct legal due diligence into the cases we fund and communicate with solicitors about any areas of legal complexity.

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George Williamson

Managing director and founder

Prior to founding Level, I was a private client wealth manager holding positions at partner and director level. I worked closely with a number of leading UK family lawyers, helping their clients manage their financial settlement post-divorce and obtain finance during their legal proceedings to cover their legal costs. During this time, it became clear that there was an opportunity to improve the space for lawyers and their clients.

At Level, I oversee all aspects of the business including the credit committee.  I am also the main point of contact for solicitors and their clients.

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Lucy Sutcliffe

Lucy Sutcliffe

Operations Director

I joined Level with a First-Class degree and over five years’ experience managing multi-million-pound projects for a world-leading design agency at a Senior level.

My professional experience has taught me the importance of providing a personal service for clients, whilst delivering operational improvements across all facets of the business. My role at Level is to implement this approach to ensure the company continues to achieve the highest standards of service and efficiency.

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Adrienne Showering

Chairman and board adviser

I was a senior partner of the leading international law firm King & Wood Mallesons, where I was consistently selected as a leading international lawyer in the fields of structured finance, securitisation, capital markets and corporate finance.

In my 25 years as a partner I lived and worked in Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and London. After I retired from full time legal practice, I spent 2 years as a non executive director of an international company focussed on assisting governments and employers design and deliver services.

The combination of my decades of experience as an international lawyer and my previous role as a non-executive director of an international company helps me add value to my role as Chair of Level.

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James Slipper

Non-executive director

As a non-executive director of Level I aim to strengthen and support the team on all areas of strategy and company development.

I am also the CFO of Phaidon International and a chartered accountant with over 20 years post qualification experience, gained in companies including Deloitte, Gresham Private Equity, Swift Worldwide Resources and Staffgroup.

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For further information on any aspect of our services, please contact us

info@withlevel.com

020 7205 2870