When I jokingly explained that Lake Whillans was not the Iron Bank of Braavos in my last column, I was pretty sure that that was the last article I would ever write about HBO programming. Then episode 2 of season 2 of Silicon Valley aired on Sunday; the episode, titled Runaway Devaluation, depicts a quintessential paradigm for the use of litigation finance (or distressed venture funding, another financial product we provide).Read More
With all the hype surrounding the first episode of this season’s Game of Thrones, I figured it was time to dispel the rumors: Lake Whillans is NOT the Iron Bank. While both entities can be a great resource in your campaign to vanquish an opponent, there remain a couple key differences.Read More
Developing a new product or business in the healthcare space is rife with complexity. Whether it be creating a new medical device, an innovative pharmaceutical, or a digital health business, healthcare entrepreneurs must identify a valuable opportunity, assemble a dedicated and talented team, potentially invest years and abundant resources in R&D – all of which may occur before seeking FDA approval, finding manufacturing partners, or even knowing whether you have a viable product for the market. Given these challenges, the last thing on a CEO’s mind when raising capital or finding partners to navigate these complexities may be how to defend the company if one of these partnerships goes sideways. But what happens if one of these partnerships does go awry? If a partner, having learned the secrets of a company’s technology determines to take that knowledge for itself? (Last week, F. Nicholas Franano, MD, a radiologist and chief executive officer at two cardiovascular medical device companies, Flow Forward Medical and Metactive Medical discussed how companies can best protect themselves when entering these partnerships.) Or if a competitor takes action to derail the company? (here is an in-depth article about a company in that position). Is all of the work of the talented and dedicated people that helped drive the initial success of the company lost?Read More
A good start to a conversation about how entrepreneurs can best protect their intellectual property when raising capital or entering into joint ventures.
As much as the landscape for biotechnology startups has changed over the last decade, one thing that hasn’t changed is this: Intellectual property is the beating heart of a business. But as more parties get involved in funding early-stage development of new technologies, locking down and protecting the rights to intellectual property has also become…Read More
An in depth article about a fabulous entrepreneur and promising cancer therapy almost derailed by impropriety. This was one of Lake Whillans’ first investments:
About a month ago, I discussed the venture capital landscape, and why litigation funders are attractive partners for VCs and VC-backed companies in need of resources to adequately defend their businesses. A similar, but distinct, phenomenon exists in private equity.
Private equity firms (which invest in a broader class of companies and employ a wider array of value generating techniques than venture capital) share some common characteristics that make litigation finance a useful product within the industry.Read More
The Delaware Chancery Court handed down a favorable decision on work product protection for funding documents last week. Here are links to an article discussing the decision and the decision itself.
At Lake Whillans, I spend most of my time valuing litigation related assets. There are many considerations in this exercise, some of which I wrote about here.
Today, I am going to write about cost of capital, which is a key component in valuation. Aswath Damodaran recently wrote:
“If there were a contest for the most measured number in finance, the winner would be the cost of capital. Corporate finance departments around the world compute it as an integral part of investment analysis. Appraisers estimate it as a step towards estimating intrinsic or discounted cash flow value. Analysts spend disproportionate amounts of their time working on it, though not always for the right reasons or with the right inputs.”
We recently sat down with above the law to discuss how we found our selves in the legal claim finance business and answer some questions about the industry: