Tag Results

  • Working out the price of justice

    There have been a few threads on social media recently where claimant solicitors have complained that litigation finance is often too expensive for it to represent a viable funding option for their clients. There is no doubt that, in the early years, litigation funding was aggressively priced. But as new players have entered the market with access to ever-increasing amounts of capital, the costs have reduced considerably. The days of every funder requiring a return based on a significant portion of the claimant’s damages are an almost-distant memory.

    Thursday, 1 March 2018
  • Litigation – art or science?

    What about a directory and a set of awards based on actual performance and measured by objective data? What a fabulous marketing tool that would be for firms brave enough to admit that they are in a results business. How good it would be to see firms boasting about how they win 95% of cases which come to court or settle 80% of claimant matters within 25% of the original damages sought. But the really innovative work, at least from a funder’s perspective, is the role that artificial intelligence can play in predicting the outcome of litigation.

    Thursday, 4 January 2018
  • All I want for Christmas is…

    This is my valedictory blog for 2017. I am grateful to my loyal reader for enduring the polluted flushings of my diseased mind over the past six months. It has been fun to write and I hope that I have given the reader an insight into the world of a litigation flaneur. Before I bid you happy holidays, I would like to share with you my two wishes for Christmas. For the avoidance of doubt, these relate to litigation finance and not my personal desires, which include a solid gold house, rocket shoes and the power to become invisible at will.

    Tuesday, 12 December 2017
  • Time to end commercial litigation’s “something for nothing” culture

    Your dear old granny was full of wise sayings. ‘Look before you leap’, ‘If it looks too good to be true, it usually is’ and ‘Many a mickle makes a muckle.’ I have no clue what the last one means. All of these pithy aphorisms could apply equally to the 100% conditional fee agreement (CFA) in the post-Jackson landscape. The days of receiving something for nothing have long gone. It is time for claimants to grow up and face the fact that in the brave new world, they are going to have to pay for the services of their legal team. It is also time for lawyers to wean clients off the novocaine that is 100% CFAs for commercial claims.

    Wednesday, 29 November 2017
  • Apply in haste, repent at leisure

    According to successive government road safety campaigns and legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach, ‘Speed Kills’. In the considerably less dangerous world of litigation finance, that truism applies equally. As I have discussed previously, future success in this industry belongs to those providers who can deliver finance to applicant lawyers quickly, simply and cost-effectively. Funders who cleave to application processes of such bewildering prolixity are already dead – they just don’t know it yet. But whilst some financiers are rightly criticised for being slow and indecisive, lawyers and their clients too are not always beyond reproach.

    Monday, 13 November 2017
  • There may be trouble ahead

    As a layman, I simply cannot get my head around how some of the smartest people in society can consistently get the task of estimating litigation costs so spectacularly wrong on so many separate occasions. The unforeseen costs in disclosure – eg, the budget was based on having to review three lever-arch files of material but 200 pantechnicons of documents pulled up instead – account for a tiny percentage of errors. Most of the time, the lawyer has simply adopted an overly sunny assessment of merits and has failed to consider properly how the other side is likely to respond.

    Wednesday, 1 November 2017
  • Hands up who knows what litigation financiers sell?

    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.

    Thursday, 19 October 2017
  • Is litigation funding dead?

    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.

    Thursday, 12 October 2017
  • What clients really want

    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’.

    Thursday, 5 October 2017
  • Why small can be beautiful

    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.

    Friday, 8 September 2017