July 01, 2019
Litigation Financing: Leveling the Playing Field
Thirty years ago, I worked closely with a creative young partner at Howrey & Simon, Richard Fields. He was innovating insurance coverage at the time, but he would soon move onto other things in the legal field for both plaintiffs and defendants, in New York, London, and around the world, eventually starting one of, if not the very first, litigation funders. Why not monetize litigation for investors, not just the parties, went his thinking.
Since that time, the field has grown dramatically, to now include giants such as Burford and Bentham IMF. Even Harvard has gotten into it. What started largely though not entirely as plaintiff-side funding, has now become as much a tool for general counsels defending their companies. It’s also a wise tool for mid-sized defense law firms looking at effectively managing big cases.
Recently, in a private interview with insurance companies on the biggest challenges facing law firms, I reported litigation funding as the game changers, along with AI, Alternative Legal Services, commoditization of legal practice, and accounting firms moving increasingly into legal practice. Papering a party, anticipating that they will not be able to afford the cost of litigation, is a strategy going the way of the electric typewriter.
Alexander Chucri of Pravati Capital and Daniel Perla of Burford Capital are among the leading thinkers in this evolving space. Take a few minutes and read what’s coming next.