TheJudge launches third-party funding price-comparsion service

Price comparison: helps solicitors meet duties

Independent litigation funding broker TheJudge has launched a ‘Quick indication (QI) funding service’ to help commercial litigators obtain quick price comparisons for clients who wish to secure third-party litigation funding.

QI is a service that seeks to provide multiple price indications from various litigation funders within 7-10 days so that clients can determine quickly which litigation funders are the most competitive for their specific case.

It is available for the full range of commercial disputes where monetary relief is sought, whether litigation or arbitration.

“We believe the QI service is a natural evolutionary step for TheJudge and the funding market generally,” said director James Delaney. “Lawyers want efficiency and clients want value. We hope that the QI service goes some way to achieving both goals.”

Fellow director Matthew Amey added: “We have seen some frankly horrific funding deals where the lawyer and client failed to shop around, despite the fact the client could have saved millions.”

TheJudge, which is a Litigation Futures sponsor, said lawyers and clients engaging with the funding market often encounter various difficulties, such as knowing which funders to approach, funders requesting early stage exclusivity, and knowing what is a competitive price.

Under the QI scheme, clients are appointed a dedicated broker to determine which funders are appropriate for the case in question and make simultaneous applications to multiple funders, all of whom have agreed they will endeavour to give price indications within 7-10 days.

In a briefing, the company said: “The QI service has only recently become possible due to the increase in capital in the funding market. Until recently clients had limited options. However, it has quickly become a buyers’ market for clients as funders compete to win business through price-led competition.”

But with funders all pushing for exclusivity, “clients and lawyers can quickly find themselves under pressure. Using the QI service gives clients comfort that they’ve tested the market ahead of entering into any exclusive option period”.

It explained that lawyers benefit by helping them to meet their professional duties to discuss the range of funding options available; reducing the burden and time cost for lawyers when investigating funding options, which as decided in Motto v Trafigura Limited [2011] EWCA Civ 1150 is not a recoverable cost; and “ensuring the cost of funding is as lean as possible allows lawyers more margin for error when quantifying the claim. It’s all too common for the damages estimate to be reduced during the course of litigation, meaning an expensive funding arrangement can become a barrier to settlement”.