Month: August 2020

Litigation Finance Sounds Good — But What Role Will The Funder Play?

Marla Decker

Much of the discussion of litigation finance naturally focuses on the underwriting phase of the funding process. We’ve written previously about the variety of flavors of litigation finance deals and the fact that it’s never too early or too late to seek funding. We’ve also discussed the pricing that a claimholder should expect in negotiating a litigation funding agreement.

But what about when all the terms have been agreed and both claimholder and funder have signed the funding agreement? What role does the funder play? Who controls settlement? And what type of interaction should a claimholder expect to have with the funder on an ongoing basis? And how do the mechanics of funding work? How does the money flow both for covering litigation expenses and for dividing the proceeds from a successful claim? Lake Whillans has seen many litigation funding investments through to their conclusion, and although each case has unique elements, there are some standard practices.

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Litigation Finance – Quickly Evolving Beyond “Traditional” Uses

Marla Decker

In its early days (not so long ago), litigation finance entailed a straightforward proposition. A claimholder with a meritorious claim, but without the resources to litigate it, would seek funding from a litigation finance provider. The funder would conduct due diligence on the claim and negotiate investment terms. If the claim succeeded, the funder would recoup its principal, plus a return; if it failed, the claimholder would walk away with no liability. Funder and claimholder had no particular expectation of any longer-term partnership.

This type of one-off, single-case funding is still going strong today. But the field of litigation finance has expanded considerably, and funding now comes in a variety of flavors. A growing proportion of funding deals involve neither a single case nor a poorly-resourced claimholder. Today, entities seeking funding are often more concerned with managing risk than with acquiring sufficient resources to litigate.

This article will explore three growth areas in the current funding landscape: (1) deals involving funding for larger corporations, (2) law firm portfolio funding, and (3) acquisition of claims by litigation funders. Lake Whillans has extensive experience investing in each of these structures.

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The best way for companies and their counsel to determine if litigation finance is an attractive option is to discuss it with us.