Meet The Team 2017-10-20T10:58:22+00:00

Meet The Team

Our People

Our team offers a unique blend of legal and financial expertise. We use our own in-house legal capability and deploy our own funds, rather than relying on external advice or capital, thus speeding up the entire funding process.

Experts in finance for litigation and arbitration

Founded in 2010, Woodsford quickly developed a reputation as a provider of specialist financial solutions for litigation and arbitration. Our team has the extensive litigation and financial knowledge needed to quickly understand the financial implications of your case, as well as its legal merits.

Having reviewed many hundreds of cases, we are able to turn cases around promptly and give you a preliminary funding decision without delay. Our finance team will then work with you to ensure a fair and transparent agreement.

Our Investment Advisory Panel brings together senior figures from the world of litigation and international arbitration, with direct experience spanning many areas of law. This unique in-house resource sets us apart from other funders: we don’t rely on outside counsel to take decisions.

Testimonials

“I would strongly recommend Woodsford – the team is made up of very experienced litigators who have practised at top firms who understand the cases and the strategy behind them, and they are always on hand and responsive as needed if we want their input.”

Ben Summerfield,
 Partner, Reed Smith (London)

Testimonials

“We have had the privilege of working with Woodsford over many years. We have seen first-hand the resources and the resolve they bring to the equation which, when combined with a strong claim, a determined client, and a formidable legal team, can make the difference between justice delivered or denied.”

Eric L. Lewis, Senior partner
 Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss (New York)

Testimonials

“The entire working relationship and experience has been not only a pleasure from the outset but also a master class in professionalism.”

Damian James
 Partner, Collas Crill (Jersey)

Testimonials

“Clients and counsel want funders with established track records of funding cases through to completion; ample resources to handle the expense of litigation; the fortitude to weather the uncertainties that are an inevitable feature of litigation; the ability to make funding decisions without inordinate delay; and the ability to offer sound advice along the way, while still respecting the autonomy of the client and the ethical duties of the lawyer to his or her client.”

Eric L. Lewis, Senior partner
 Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss (New York)

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Our Executive Team

Yves Bonavero Chairman

Yves Bonavero
Chairman

Yves was born and educated in Paris.  He holds a First Class Honours degree in Philosophy and German, as well as an MA, from Oxford University. Yves started his business career at ED&F Man, joining the partnership in 1983 and becoming Group Chief Executive Officer in 1987, aged 34.

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Steven Friel Chief Executive Officer

Steven Friel
Chief Executive Officer

Steven has extensive experience in handling complex disputes, often with an international dimension.  He has represented clients across a broad range of commercial, industrial and governmental sectors, and has particular experience in finance, insurance and disputes involving complex technology.

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Jonathan Barnes Chief Operating Officer

Jonathan Barnes
Chief Operating Officer

Jonathan’s family business was cotton spinning in the north-west, but he started his career in the law.  He joined City law firm DJ Freeman in 1987 and specialised in commercial property. Clients ranged from the developers of Spitalfields, opposite Liverpool Street station, to overseas institutional investors.

MORE ABOUT JONATHAN
Mark Spiteri Finance & Commercial Director

Mark Spiteri
Finance & Commercial Director

Mark is an economics graduate from the London School of Economics.  He started his career in 1997 at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), where he trained as a management consultant and was admitted into the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

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Josh Meltzer, Managing Director, US

Josh Meltzer
Managing Director, US

Josh joined Woodsford from Rembrandt IP Management, LLC, where he served as VP of Business Development. Josh was responsible for sourcing and reviewing all commercial opportunities as well as for the creation of new offerings that leveraged Rembrandt expertise and capital. Josh planned and launched Rembrandt’s litigation funding business.

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Charlie Morris Senior Investment Officer

Charlie Morris
Managing Director, Asia Pacific

Charlie is an English-qualified senior lawyer with significant experience of handling high-value international litigation and arbitration, including both commercial and investor-state disputes.  He heads up Woodsford’s Asia Pacific practice and is responsible for assessing any opportunities arising out of the region.

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Alex Lempiner Executive Vice President & GC

Alex Lempiner
Executive Vice President & GC

Alex joined Woodsford from Rembrandt IP Management, LLC, where he served as Corporate Counsel and Secretary with responsibility for all corporate governance and legal matters affecting the litigation funding business.  Alex was instrumental in developing Rembrandt’s funding operations.

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Zachary Krug Senior Investment Officer

Zachary Krug
Senior Investment Officer

Zachary has extensive trial litigation experience, having represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of commercial disputes in state and federal courts in the US, as well as in international proceedings.  He has particular expertise in intellectual property disputes and technology related matters.

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Lara Hofer Investment Officer

Lara Hofer
Investment Officer

Lara is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and a Registered Foreign Lawyer in England and Wales. She has experience in general commercial, competition and financial services disputes. She has represented a broad range of clients, both claimant and defendant, and has experience in financial disputes.

MORE ABOUT LARA
Lynda Aziz Investment Officer

Lynda Aziz
Investment Officer

Lynda qualified as a solicitor in May 2013. During her legal training at a boutique law firm in the City, Lynda gained experience working on high-value swap claims and general commercial litigation.  Lynda was also part of a team of solicitors involved in mortgage misselling claims.

MORE ABOUT LYNDA
Helena Eatock Investment Associate

Helena Eatock
Investment Associate

Helena joined Woodsford from London law firm Harcus Sinclair LLP  having graduated with a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Oxford in 2014. During her time at Harcus Sinclair, she assisted a large shareholder claim arising from the acquisition of a commercial bank.

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Steven Savage Head of Marketing and Business Development

Steven Savage
Head of Marketing and Business Development 

Steven is a professionally qualified marketer with nearly 20 years’ experience of B2B marketing, including significant time at blue-chip Legal and Financial services organisations. Steven started his career at The Economist and spent time working for them in both London and New York.

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Our Investment Advisory Panel

John Potts Non executive director

John Potts
Non Executive Director;
Chairman,
Investment Advisory Panel

John came to the law later than most, via textiles and marketing, qualifying in 1982.  However, he lost no time in making up ground and became a partner in the biggest UK law firm – Clifford Chance – just five years later.  He enjoyed great success as a litigator and led the dispute resolution team for three years from 2000 to 2003.

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John Beechey Member of IAP

John Beechey CBE
Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

John Beechey is among the best known arbitrators in the world.  He has served as chairman, party-appointed arbitrator, or sole arbitrator on international arbitral tribunals in both ‘ad hoc’ (including UNCITRAL) and institutional arbitrations under the Rules of, inter alia, the European Development Fund (EDF), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Stockholm Chamber etc.

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David McLean Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

Judge Shira Scheindlin
Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

Judge Scheindlin, who was appointed to the bench in 1994 by President Bill Clinton, has presided over numerous criminal and civil cases during her 22-year tenure with the Southern District of New York. Among many important cases, her opinions in electronic case management are recognized as case law landmarks, and she is the co-author of the first casebook on electronic discovery.

MORE ABOUT SHIRA
Fidelma Macken SC Member of the IAP

Fidelma Macken SC
Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

Judge Macken has been called to the Irish Bar and to the Bar of England and Wales, and is a door tenant at Brick Court Chambers in London. Following her appointment as a judge of the High Court of Ireland, in 1999 Judge Macken became the first woman judge to be appointed to the Court of Justice of the European Union.  In 2004 she returned to the High Court of Ireland, was appointed to the Irish Supreme Court.

MORE ABOUT FIDELMA
David McLean Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

David McLean
Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

David was a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins. David has broad experience in complex commercial litigation. His particular areas of focus include securities, professional liability, internal investigations and complex business disputes, both domestic and international, and he has handled numerous commercial, real estate, securities, banking, employment and corporate control litigations.

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Terry O'Neill Member of IAP

Terry O’Neill
Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

Terry has a first-rate legal mind and, in particular, great expertise in and experience of insurance and reinsurance litigation.  He brings this valuable intellectual capital to Woodsford’s Investment Advisory Panel. Career landmarks include:  1965 – LLB First Class at University College London, 1973 – PhD also at UCL, 1977 – called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn (Hardwicke Scholar), 1977 – joined Clifford Chance.

MORE ABOUT TERRY
Olivier Bonavero Non Executive Director

Olivier Bonavero
Non-Executive Director;
Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

Olly has dual French / British nationality and speaks English, French and German. He was educated at St Paul’s School, London, and Oxford University (The Queen’s College). He also holds a Masters in Finance from the London Business School. Since 2000, Olly has worked in international finance and trading including stretches in London, New York and Singapore.

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Woodsford Singapore

Zhijian Wu

Zhijian Wu
CEO Woodsford Capital Management

Zhijian is the CEO of Woodsford Capital Management Pte Ltd (WCM), the largest passive strategy manager in Singapore. Prior to joining Woodsford, Zhijian worked as a commodities trader, first at Wilmar in Singapore, and subsequently at the ED&F Man Group, in London and in Singapore.

MORE ABOUT ZHIJIAN

Business Infrastructure Team

John Gledhill FCA

John Gledhill FCA
Financial Controller

John is Woodsford’s Financial Controller and brings a wealth of experience to the company. He spent 15 years at the London branch of a Japanese mortgage bank. While at the bank he instigated the purchase of a London International Financial Futures Exchange seat and developed a futures and options clearing business.

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Jonathan Dickle ACA

Jonathan Dickie ACA
Group Accountant

Jonathan is a Chemistry graduate from Oxford University and started his career as a forensic toxicologist before joining KPMG Audit where he gained his professional accountancy qualification.  Since joining Woodsford in 2015 as Group Accountant he has been instrumental in implementing a new asset management system.

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Adriana Schwab

Adriana Schwab
Accountants Assistant

Adriana joined Woodsford in 2015 to support the growth of the business.  Previously she has held various roles helping SMEs to meet their financial and tax reporting obligations

MORE ABOUT ADRIANA
About Woodsford

About Woodsford

We are experts in delivering tailored financial solutions to meet the specialist needs of law firms and their clients involved in litigation and arbitration across the globe.

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Association of Litigation Funders

Association of Litigation Funders

Woodsford is a founder member of the Association of Litigation Funders of England and Wales (ALF), the body dedicated to promoting best practice in the litigation funding industry and campaigning to improve the use and application of litigation funding.

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Downloads

Downloads

Keep ahead of the latest thinking in litigation and arbitration funding with our series of papers and comment pieces, as well as brochures, product sheets and case studies which can be downloaded as PDFs.

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