If you have been looking for a niche that will help you attract new business from inside and outside your firm, one of the most promising areas is litigation funding. A wide range of lawyers in your firm need to be able to navigate litigation funding: transactional lawyers need to advise clients on the finance aspects of major litigation; litigators must advise clients who are considering potential claims of the various financing options available to them; and law firm leaders routinely evaluate the security and profitability of the firm’s fee arrangements with clients. Expertise in litigation funding has become a core competence. Being an expert in litigation funding used to be a competitive advantage. http://www.newellis.com/PDFs/2017/NewEllis-030617.pdf. But with the increased availability and acceptance of litigation funding, lawyers’ having experience with litigation funding– and funders—is a necessity and any firm lacking in this area will be at a distinct disadvantage.Read More
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The closely watched case of Gbarabe v. Chevron – a class action against the oil giant based on an oil rig explosion off the coast of Nigeria – has been portrayed as a cautionary tale for the world of litigation finance. The defense attorneys’ dogged pursuit of the details of plaintiff’s outside funding, the story goes, succeeded, and aided in the attack on the adequacy of plaintiff’s counsel. The defense did successfully defeat class certification, but litigation funding ultimately played little or no role in the case’s demise.Read More
The Draft Report of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration and the Queen Mary University of London Task Force on Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration: What You Need to Know
The international arbitration community has been a leader in the adoption and evolution of third-party funding. Continuing that trend, The International Council for Commercial Arbitration (“ICCA”) partnered with Queen Mary University of London (“QMUL”) in 2013 to establish a task force comprised of over 50 leading international arbitration experts (the “Task Force”) to “identify and study the issues that arise in relation to third-party funding in international arbitration, and to determine what outputs, if any, would be appropriate to address them.”Read More
Claimants considering litigation financing often ask whether financing must be disclosed to U.S. courts. The answer in federal courts – for now – is no (save one limited exception).
Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure currently requires initial disclosure of a broad range of information including the documents and other materials the party expects to use to support its claims or defenses, the computation of categories of damages, the identification of those who might have discoverable information, and insurance agreements. But the rule doesn’t require all potential disclosures, including for example, litigation financing arrangements.Read More
Since joining the Lake Whillans team this summer, I’ve been asking a lot of questions. To effectively finance litigation our team must completely understand the factual and legal basis for the claim. So we ask questions. But they have to be the right ones — informed by diligent research on the particular case and our legal knowledge and experience.Read More
Third party funding of international arbitration disputes has been a hot topic for some time, and more and more we see its globalization take hold. Third party funding and international arbitration are a natural fit because of the great risks, high costs, and large amounts at stake in international arbitration disputes. Third party funding allows those costs and risks to be mitigated by the funder in exchange for a share of the potential award. In the past year, we have seen a noticeable uptick in the number of claimants seeking funding for international arbitration claims. (Lake Whillans funds U.S and Canadian litigation as well as domestic and international arbitration).Read More
On Friday, April 28, leaders of the litigation finance industry will gather in New York City at the 2017 Litigation Funding Conference to discuss the current state of litigation funding, as well as number of other topics relevant to the industry. The conference is a chance for legal and financial professionals to network with others in the industry and learn about the most pressing topics affecting litigation finance today.Read More
Litigation funding is not just for plaintiffs. We, at Lake Whillans, provide defense-side financing using a unique transaction structure. While our approach does not work for all defense-side litigation or arbitration, in the right circumstances, our structure provides for a straight forward transaction that allows a defendant to optimally protect its business.Read More
The results reflect the growing norm of litigation funding. Forty percent of respondents have had firsthand experience working with a litigation finance firm. Interestingly, law firms with the most experience using litigation finance were the very largest and very smallest firms surveyed: law firm size of 500+ lawyers (48.57%) and law firm size of 2 – 5 lawyers (58.54%). Litigators whose practice concerns the energy industry had the highest proportion of firsthand experience followed by the technology sector; finance/banking had the lowest. A resounding 85% of those with firsthand litigation finance experience would use it again.
For those without firsthand experience, the most commonly cited reason for ruling out the possibility of litigation finance by nearly 75% of negative respondents was “ethical reservations.” We’d like to address those reservations with a primer on the ethics of litigation finance.Read More
Recently, the race in Asia has led Hong Kong and Singapore to introduce legislation that would enable the use of third-party funding in arbitrations seated there. Lake Whillans funds litigation and arbitration globally, and we asked Nicholas Lingard, Robert Kirkness and Emily Stennett of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s international arbitration practice in Asia to detail the recent developments in Hong Kong and Singapore.Read More