Posted by Chris Deadman, director of operations at Litigation Futures Associate Invicta Capital Funding
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.
As an industry, we continually stress that we exist not just to service the needs of the impecunious claimant. At every opportunity, we underline the benefits that we bring for the corporate client who is keen to ‘de-risk’ their litigation portfolio.
But both the corporate claimant and their impecunious counterpart wouldn’t give us the time of day if we were not able to make a financial investment in their cases. They are not interested in our project management skills – that’s real cute honey, but make with the Benjamins.
I do not want to invest a coin of Invicta’s cash in a legal team who wants my advice on how to project manage their case. If they are unsure what to do, then I am not going to use other people’s money to teach them (assuming I knew in the first place). I want experienced and successful litigators to run our cases, not people keen to learn.
We should not be afraid to accept the fact that our money is just another species of legal corporate finance. If our application processes are simple, our cash readily available and our return models easily comprehensible, we don’t need to provide much else.