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, based in the UK, USA, Canada, Singapore, Australia and Israel, 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 thousands 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.

We are currently recruiting a Vice President of Business Development in the United States and a Business Development Manager, based in Hong Kong.

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. He founded Woodsford Litigation Funding in 2010.

MORE ABOUT YVES
Steven Friel Chief Executive Officer

Steven Friel
Chief Executive Officer

Steven is one of the most accomplished litigation funders in the international market. He has repeatedly been ranked by independent directories as a leader in the field and praised for his flexible working style: “Very easy to deal with, makes decisions quickly and won’t leave you hanging around.  An extremely good resource for Woodsford – a great strategic thinker.” (Chambers and Partners, 2020)

MORE ABOUT STEVEN
Charlie Morris Chief Investment Officer, EMEA & APAC

Charlie Morris
Chief Investment Officer,
EMEA & APAC

Charlie is an English-qualified senior lawyer with significant experience of handling high-value international litigation and arbitration across a wide range of sectors, both in his capacity as a lawyer and as a litigation funder.

Charlie has overall responsibility for Woodsford’s investments outside of the United States.

MORE ABOUT CHARLIE
Jonathan Barnes Chief Operating Officer

Jonathan Barnes
Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel

Jonathan co-founded Woodsford in 2010 and has been central to its successful growth.  Woodsford is a founder member of both the International Legal Finance Association and the Association of Litigation Funders and Jonathan serves on the Management Committee of the former and the Board of the latter.

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 PWC), where he trained as a management consultant. Mark is responsible for the global finance and commercial function splitting his time equally between serving North American, EMEA and APAC clients.

MORE ABOUT MARK
Robin Davis Senior Investment Officer

Robin M. Davis
Chief Investment Officer, US

Robin is an US litigator with substantial litigation and trial experience in high-value disputes, with particular expertise in patent infringement actions.
Robin leads Woodsford’s US underwriting and investment team for all types of litigation and arbitration as Chief Investment Officer for the United States.

MORE ABOUT ROBIN
Clare Owen Consultant

Clare Owen
Director and Head of Origination, Woodsford Australia

Clare is a dual qualified lawyer admitted to practise in both the UK and Australia with over 20 years’ experience as a litigator – initially in the UK and then in Australia having relocated in 2011. Clare has extensive experience in handling large scale, complex, commercial disputes.

MORE ABOUT CLARE
Adam Erusalimsky Senior Investment Officer

Adam Erusalimsky
Senior Investment Officer

Adam is a solicitor advocate with over ten years’ experience in complex commercial litigation before the English courts. He trained at Herbert Smith before spending nine and a half years at Stewarts. As a litigator, Adam worked on several high-profile claims against financial institutions, many of which were funded by third parties.

MORE ABOUT ADAM
Alex Hickson Senior Investment Officer

Alex Hickson
Senior Investment Officer

Alex is an Australian-qualified lawyer with experience in financial services and consumer protection group actions in both Australia and the United Kingdom. Prior to joining Woodsford, Alex worked at class action firms Shine Lawyers in Brisbane and Slater & Gordon Lawyers in London.

MORE ABOUT ALEX
Hugh Tait

Hugh Tait
Investment Officer

Hugh Tait is an Australian qualified lawyer who has worked on a diverse range of complex, large-scale litigation and arbitration matters in both Australia and England, spanning contractual, financial and IP disputes, class/collective actions, fraud and insolvency. Hugh joined Woodsford in November 2021.

MORE ABOUT HUGH
Daniel Littman Commercial Manager

Daniel Littman
Commercial Manager

Daniel joined Woodsford in September 2019 as Commercial Manager. Prior to joining, Daniel held various roles at FCE (Ford Credit Europe) Bank, who offer a variety of retail, leasing and wholesale financial products and services to Ford customers. There his experience primarily lay within the Risk and Compliance functions.

MORE ABOUT DANIEL
Mitesh Modha Director of Business Development & Origination

Mitesh Modha
Business Development & Origination Director

Mitesh joined Woodsford from Kain Knight, a market leading costs litigation firm, where he was a Director. Prior to Kain Knight, Mitesh was a freelance County Court Advocate for 5 years. He was awarded a 1st Class Honours LLB degree from the University of Kent.

MORE ABOUT MITESH
Steven Savage Head of Marketing

Steven Savage
Head of Marketing

Steven is a professionally qualified marketer with nearly 20 years’ experience. He started his career at The Economist, working for them in both London and New York. Subsequently, he has held a number senior marketing roles, including time at The London Stock Exchange, AAC Capital Partners, Practical Law and Burford Capital.

MORE ABOUT STEVEN
Alex Lempiner Executive Vice President & GC

Alex Lempiner
Executive Vice President & GC (US)

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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Josh Meltzer, Managing Director, US

Joshua H. 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.

MORE ABOUT JOSHUA
Ioan Mortimer Investment Associate

Ioan Mortimer
Investment Associate

Ioan is an Investment Associate at Woodsford focused on providing support to the investment officers in the form of quantitative analysis, data processing and research tasks. Prior to joining Woodsford, Ioan worked at London law firm Forsters LLP where he worked on several group action claims.

MORE ABOUT IOAN
Diane Chisomu Junior Investment Associate

Diane Chisomu
Junior Investment Associate

Diane is a Junior Investment Associate at Woodsford, based in London. She qualified as a New York Attorney in April 2021 and has a broad range of experience in: competition, private equity and financial services matters. She also has experience in group action claims and arbitration matters.

MORE ABOUT DIANE
Oscar Moore Junior Investment Associate

Oscar Moore
Junior Investment Associate

Oscar is a Junior Associate Investment Associate, based in London.  Prior to joining Woodsford he was at London law firm Peters & Peters.

Oscar obtained a B.A. in History of Art from the University of Bristol and completed the Graduate Diploma in Law at The University of Law in 2021.

MORE ABOUT OSCAR
Dan Kesack Investment Officer

Dan Kesack
Investment Officer

Dan is an experienced patent litigation attorney who has advised clients in many different forums, including federal and state court, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Dan’s expertise includes developing and executing patent enforcement campaigns.

MORE ABOUT DAN
Deborah Mazer Investment Officer

Deborah Mazer
Investment Officer

Deborah is a U.S. lawyer and former litigator with a broad range of trial and appellate experience.  Her expertise includes complex commercial, bankruptcy, mass tort, securities, tax controversy, and IP litigation. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courts.

MORE ABOUT DEBORAH
Bob Koneck BD Associate

Bob Koneck
Director of Litigation Finance, US

Bob is a US lawyer and former litigator. Bob now helps to deliver customized funding solutions to lawyers and claimants. Prior to joining Woodsford, Bob worked as a commercial litigator and completed federal clerkships at the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota and the U.S. Court of International Trade.

MORE ABOUT BOB
Sarina Singh

Sarina Singh
Consultant

Sarina is a Consultant for Woodsford in the US. She is an experienced legal industry professional with expertise in building strategic partnerships.

She works closely with claimants and law firms nationwide to develop and implement customized funding solutions.

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Yoav Navon Director of Litigation Finance, Israel

Yoav Navon
Director of Litigation Finance, Israel

In his role as Director of Litigation Finance, Israel for Woodsford, Yoav Navon helps introduce leading Israeli law firms and their clients to our full range of litigation finance solutions.

Prior to joining Woodsford, Yoav was at Ron Gazit, Rotenberg in Tel Aviv.

MORE ABOUT YOAV
Franca Ciambella Consultant

Franca Ciambella
Consultant

Trained in law and business in Canada, Singapore and New York, Franca Ciambella is a member of the Quebec Bar. Her legal career of 30 years encompasses 17 years of private practice, including as the Managing Partner of the Singapore office of Stikeman Elliott and seven years as GC (APAC) for Tyco International.

MORE ABOUT FRANCA
John G. Booth Consultant

John G. Booth
Consultant

John is a lawyer admitted to practice in Ontario, New York and DC.  He has experience as a litigator, investment banker, IP strategist and fund manager.  In addition to his role with Woodsford, John serves as chairman and director of several Canadian companies in the resource, energy, technology and FS areas.

MORE ABOUT JOHN
Eamon Wood Consultant

Eamon Wood
Consultant

Eamon supports Woodford’s growth in the United States with a specific focus on introducing New York based law firms and claimants to our comprehensive litigation funding solutions, including single-case funding, portfolio funding and innovative law firm financing solutions. Eamon is based in Manhattan.

MORE ABOUT EAMON

Our Investment Advisory Panel

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.

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
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
Nick Set Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

Nagendra (Nick) Setty
Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

Nagendra (Nick) Setty was an intellectual property trial lawyer for 25 years. He held numerous law firm leadership positions, including founding and managing an office and co-chairing an IP practice. As a partner in international firms Orrick, Fish & Richardson, and Jones Day, Nick was lead counsel in +200 IP cases. Nick was named IP Lawyer of the Year (Washington) in his last year of practice.

MORE ABOUT NICK
Hon Michael Barker QC Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

Hon. Michael Barker QC
Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

Michael Barker is an independent mediator and arbitrator based at Murray Chambers, Perth, Western Australia. Michael was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia from 2002 – 2009 and the President of the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia from its foundation in 2005 until 2009. From 2009 – 2019, Michael was a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia.

MORE ABOUT MICHAEL
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.

MORE ABOUT DAVID
Simon Powell Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

Simon Powell
Member of the Investment Advisory Panel

Simon Powell is an independent arbitrator in full time practice in Asia. Prior to establishing his own, independent arbitrator practice he was a senior partner in a number of leading global law firms, including most recently Latham & Watkins LLP, where he managed the Hong Kong office for a number of years and built and then led the disputes and arbitration practice across Asia.

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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.

MORE ABOUT OLIVIER

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

Marta Gispert

Marta Gispert
Financial Controller

Marta joined Woodsford in October 2021 as Financial Controller. Prior to this, Marta held various roles in finance in the professional services industry, including 11 years as Account Financial Controller at Accenture and Group Financial Controller at Norman Broadbent, a leading AIM listed recruitment company.

MORE ABOUT MARTA
William English

William English
Accounts & Operations Assistant

William qualified as a certified Accounting Technician in December 2018. He is currently studying for the ACCA accounting qualification with a degree from Oxford Brookes University.

He has over 18 years’ experience in the finance sector and joined Woodsford in September 2020.

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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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