Litigation Finance Basics

How can litigation finance help lawyers and their clients achieve business and litigation objectives? Who are the parties involved? What are the steps in the funding process? What are the various investment structures? What is the role of litigation finance firms in case strategy? What is the difference between consumer and commercial lawsuit funding? How can third-party funding promote access to justice?

Litigation Funding? Hardly Relevant (To Claims and Defenses That Is).

Marla Decker

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.

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Third-party Funding in the Middle East: A Step-by-step Process

Marla Decker

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 East

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International Arbitration and Third Party Funding in Hong Kong: Q&A with the Secretary-General of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre

Marla Decker

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.

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How to Choose A Litigation Funder

Marla Decker

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:

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Third-party funding in Asia: Arrived, and Set to Thrive

Marla Decker

Over the last few years, third‑party funding has become a hot topic in Asia. As we previously reported, in 2017, the two leading arbitral seats in Asia, Singapore and Hong Kong, enacted legislation that opened the door to third‑party funding of arbitration proceedings. As well as fundamentally changing the legal framework in those jurisdictions, these developments made third‑party funding a major talking point across Asia. In this article, we reflect on the current landscape for third‑party funding in the region.

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Using Litigation Finance to Close the Gender Gap in Law

Marla Decker

The advancement of women lawyers has been a discussion in the legal profession for decades, and one that I’ve followed closely. As a young associate, I was encouraged by the efforts underway at various firms to attract and promote women into senior positions. While women were admittedly underrepresented in leadership roles at law firms, the tide seemed about to shift.

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Turning the Law Department Into a Profit Center

Lee Drucker

Perhaps the biggest trend in corporate law departments over the past few years has been the rise of the legal ops function. Ten years ago there were only a handful of law department operations professionals (LDOs), typically only in large sophisticated organizations. Today, about a third of the Fortune 500 law departments have at least one professional in such a role. All these professionals have one thing in common: their job is to bring business discipline to the legal function.

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Acceleration Bay Work Product Decision

Garrett Ordower

The latest work product decision in the litigation finance sphere — Acceleration Bay v. Activision Blizzard — bucks the near universal trend of courts finding that the work product doctrine shields disclosure of communications exchanged with an actual or prospective litigation funder. Probably because it used the wrong legal standard.

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Update: Rules Governing Disclosure of Litigation Finance

Garrett Ordower

The U.S. Court’s Advisory Committee on Civil Rules signaled in its recently released report that litigation finance continues “growing and evolving” and that considering potential rules mandating disclosure of funding arrangements must begin “if at all, by undertaking a careful quest for information that may be hard to come by.” That process will not proceed…

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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.