IMF Bentham Europe have recently launched in the UK via a joint venture with hedge fund Elliot Management Corporation. IMF are one of the longest established funders with their roots in Australia.
So what does the launch mean for UK law firms? The funding market in the UK is fairly well capitalised already, with many of the existing funders struggling to find deals that work on their economic models. That being said, clearly credible capacity should always be welcomed from a competition perspective, particularly as departures from the market can and do occur (e.g. Argentum).
Furthermore, IMF Bentham’s parent’s experience in Australia should help to ensure they became one of the main players in the UK. While yet to be publicised, at TheJudge we are aware of at least two additional funders in the pipeline promising in excess of £100m funds ready for 2015.
Competition within the UK litigation finance market has significantly intensified for larger cases in the past 12 months. Any lawyer involved in a case which needs somewhere between £500k-£5m+ of funding should be aware that there are at least x6 reputable, domestic funders with significant funds at their disposal that may be able to offer terms, in addition to a wider pool of international litigation funders.
The pricing variable between funders can still vary significantly on any given case. At TheJudge, we have been engaged in relation to a large number of cases that require at least £4m+ of funding. However, crucially all of those cases, which had more than one interested funder, resulted in a price variable of at least £6m in net cost to the client. In some of our larger cases, we have seen variables exceeding £50m.
Any party seeking third party funding should therefore consider multiple funders on any given case in order to ensure a competitive deal is agreed. In doing so, law firms may need to navigate around funders’ exclusivity requirements, which a number of litigation funders still require. If you have a case in need of funding, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (0)845 257 6058.