A magistrate judge in New Jersey overseeing an MDL related to an allegedly contaminated pharmaceutical drug recently denied the defendants’ request for discovery into the plaintiffs’ potential litigation funding arrangements. While the denial of litigation funding discovery is not unique, the decision–which holds that the sought-after information was not relevant to the claims or defenses–is significant in that it leaves no doubt that, without more, requests for fishing expeditions into litigation funding arrangements fail when examined. And that the trend in the case law is in agreement.Read More
Lake Whillans closely follows developments around the world related to third-party funding. As third-party funding becomes mainstream in jurisdictions like the U.K. and U.S., it is not surprising that other jurisdictions have begun to pass laws that expressly permit third-party funding, effectively recognizing the utility of third-party funding to claimholders, the lack of detrimental effect to a legal system, and the fact that third-party funding helps make the jurisdiction an attractive forum for resolving commercial disputes. Jurisdictions in the Middle East have recently followed the trend, and we asked Thomas Snider, Head of Arbitration for Al Tamimi & Company, the largest law firm in the Middle East, and his colleagues, Jane Rahman and Khushboo Shahdadpuri, to educate us on the status of third-party funding in the Middle EastRead More
Can law firms ethically take litigation funding secured by their anticipated fees? Litigation funding generally comes in two varieties — funding to a claimholder or funding to a law firm. Last year, an advisory ethics opinion by the New York City Bar Association called into question the propriety of providing funding to a law firm…Read More
As jurisdictions compete for status as premier international arbitration hubs, a differentiating factor (or, increasingly, a must-have factor) is whether the jurisdiction’s legal framework allows for third party funding in arbitrations seated there. We have followed the development towards a more permissive environment for third party funding in Asia closely, recently asking members of Freshfields’ international arbitration group to provide an update on developments in Asia with Singapore and Hong Kong leading the charge. Today, we focus in on Hong Kong, which on February 1, 2019, put into effect previously enacted legislative changes to permit third party funding in international arbitration. In connection with this development, the Ministry of Justice has released the Code of Practice for Third Party Funding of Arbitration, which sets out practices and standards with which third party funders are expected to comply in connection with funding of arbitrations in Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”) amended its rules to harmonize with the legislative changes and to address disclosure requirements, confidentiality, and costs in third party funded matters. We asked Sarah Grimmer, Secretary-General of HKIAC to discuss the changing landscape.Read More
It’s 2019, and litigation finance is going to play prominently in the legal industry this year. Lawyers and claimholders increasingly desire the utility and flexibility of what litigation finance can offer. As demand for litigation funding has increased, so too has the number of litigation funders in the market. Some funders (like Lake Whillans) focus exclusively on litigation financing, while others have added litigation finance investments as part of a larger investment portfolio. The field has matured to the point that Chambers & Partners ranked litigation funders in the U.S. and U.K. last year. (Lake Whillans as a firm, and Lake Whillans co-founder Boaz Weinstein individually, each were ranked among the top bands in the 2018 Chambers rankings).
So if you are a claimholder, a lawyer seeking funding for your client or firm, or law firm management trying to differentiate between funders, how should you be analyzing the options? We suggest there are key differences among funders that you can use to compare:Read More