The inaugural Litigation Finance Dealmakers Forum took place in New York on September 17th and 18th, 2018. The two-day event covered a broad range of topics and issues related to litigation finance and was well-attended by a mixture of litigation attorneys, in house counsel and litigation funders, with representatives of most major industry players in attendance.  

Ashby Jones of the Wall Street Journal set the scene in his opening keynote, charting the history of litigation finance and its meteoric rise to prominence in recent years, without shying away from some of the challenges facing the industry today, such as regulation and the prospect of mandatory disclosure. The keynote was followed by panels on a wide range of issues, each offering different perspectives from funders, lawyers and corporate clients.

On the second day of the event, James Blick of TheJudge moderated a panel on Leveraging Insurance to Mitigate Legal Risk, alongside Redvers Cunningham of Thomas Miller Legal, Amal Bouchenaki of Herbert Smith Freehills and Julian Burns-King of King & Siegel. The panel introduced the concept of insurance to hedge “litigation outcome risk”, which can be structured as an alternative to litigation finance to enable corporate plaintiffs to remove the financial risk of pursing litigation, without having to pay the returns required by funders. The panel also explained how law firms can use insurance to hedge fee risk in contingency fee matters.