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Hands up who knows what litigation financiers sell?

A#1000

If your answer was ‘money’, you would be correct but sadly out of step with the prevailing thinking. If, however, you asked some other litigation financiers the same question, you would very likely receive answers like ‘project management skills’, or ‘an experienced litigation partner’. Whilst none of these answers are wrong per se, they do rather miss the point of why lawyers and clients engage with funders. Experienced and successful litigators do not want the views of litigation financiers on how to project manage their litigation – they want access to their cash pure and simple.

October 19th, 2017

Is litigation funding dead?

Christopher Deadman 2

Have you noticed that ‘litigation funding’ is gradually being replaced by the term ‘litigation finance’? If you have, then you really ought to get out more, maybe take up a hobby or start some evening classes. The reason funders (or financiers) are moving away from using the former term is that the industry is slowly waking up to the opportunities that its money can unlock. Commentators with more GCSEs than me are keen to point out that the potential of portfolio finance, i.e. funding across a basket of cases, has yet to be fully realised.

October 12th, 2017

What clients really want

Christopher Deadman 2

A few years ago, I attended a workshop for entrepreneurs in the legal sector. Apart from my long-held view that anyone who uses the word ‘workshop’ outside of a light engineering context needs to give their head a serious wobble, it got me thinking about what people really expect from their legal teams. The event itself was populated almost entirely by individuals who, were they fashioned from chocolate, would have no further need of sustenance. At the end of the event, they all roundly declared that they and only they had found the key to what their clients really want and left to create websites bearing such legends as ‘We at Smug & Vain really understand the needs of YOUR business’.

October 5th, 2017

Spurious NAO claims are not helping the NHS or access to justice

David Pipkin 2

National Audit Office (NAO) claims that imply excessive legal costs are the cause of rising NHS Resolution expenditure are unhelpful at best, disingenuous at worst and either way do not provide any answers to NHS problems or support genuine access to justice. The recent NAO comments on the subject contradict themselves by stating first that no evidence has been found relating poorer patient safety to a rise in negligence costs; and then follow on by disclosing that declining performance against waiting time standards is a factor, due to delayed diagnosis or treatment. A slight anomaly, or an unexplained paradox? NAO director Jenny George admitted earlier this month: “The truth is we just don’t have the data to draw any definite conclusions.”

September 27th, 2017

Innovate to populate

Richard Bennett Allianz 2

If your law firm is looking to increase its marketing footprint, it is now more important than ever to ensure your marketing approach fits your ambitions. In a market that has to contend with increasing regulation, pressure on fees and countless competition, it’s vital law firms target prospective clients, demonstrating their expertise and building on brand awareness. With just one online search, many law firms will appear, offering what appears to be the same solution. How can you ensure your firm stands out from the crowd?

September 21st, 2017

Further discount applied

Lesley Attu 3

Liz Truss sent the insurance industry into a tailspin a little over six months ago, when she announced a change to the rate from 2.5% to -0.75%. Share prices dropped, premiums were hiked and the insurers’ PR machines went into somewhat unseemly overdrive, demanding that the ‘crazy’ decision to ensure that people with catastrophic injuries should be adequately compensated, be urgently reviewed. It may not have come about quite as quickly as some would have liked, but the Ministry of Justice’s proposals for a new mechanism to set the discount rate seem designed to strike a compromise.

September 14th, 2017

Why small can be beautiful

Underfoot

Until recently, litigation finance enjoyed a public profile that would make Thomas Pynchon nod with approval. But acres of copy over the past couple of years has brought the industry into the limelight. The idea that funders are only interested in the largest claims, however, endures like the myth that Joseph Kennedy made his fortune bottlegging (he didn’t, he sold legal medical alcohol). Whilst the big-ticket cases will continue to attract the press coverage, it is the ability to finance smaller claims that shows litigation funding finally arriving as a mainstream option for claimants.

September 8th, 2017

People do the strangest things

Christopher Deadman 2

Any investment strategy, whether it is buying shares or investing in commercial litigation, is a cocktail comprising equal parts art and science. In third-party funding, the science component is relatively straightforward – assess the underlying legal merits, calculate the commercial returns and determine recoverability. But that is only half the story. Often overlooked is the human element, the dramatis personae of a claim who can frequently mean the difference between success and failure.

August 31st, 2017

Is travel sickness a British disease?

Philip Morris

Amongst the topics of recent news stories in The Le@der, an English newspaper for expatriates in Spain, were Spanish virgins descending on Valencia, complaints from ageing expatriates of ever-increasing waiting times for surgery, and a letter written by the British Ambassador to Spain about fraudulent sickness claims. Simon Manley had written to key stakeholders in the Spanish tourism industry, informing them of the steps the British government was taking to tackle fraudulent claims, recognising the impact they were having on hoteliers in Spain and on the UK package holiday industry.

August 24th, 2017

Third-party funders – access to justice warriors?

Christopher Deadman 2

Comments on UNISON’s landmark victory against the government in respect of employment tribunal fees got me thinking about the whole ‘access to justice’ argument and the role that third-party funders play. I have sat in lots of meetings over the years where funders, some even with a straight face, claim that access to justice is a cornerstone of their business. That is a statement of almost North Korean bogusness. Funders who trot out the access to justice argument are guilty of conflating the by-product of their business with the

August 17th, 2017