Post Lord Justice Jackson’s review of civil litigation costs, which effectively provided judicial endorsement to litigation funding, a small portion of commercial disputes lawyers started to highlight to prospective clients the possibilities of their using litigation finance to fund some or all of their legal budget. Many claimants were unfamiliar with the concept and several law firms sought to capitalise on the general lack of knowledge in this new field – a lack of knowledge that could be found not just in their clients but also in their rival firms during beauty parades. Tabling the possibilities of non-recourse litigation financing was unquestionably a key winning differentiator in many tender situations in the early days of the market. We know this because we witnessed several law firms that we had been working with succeed in pitches, only for partners from law firms who lost out to approach us shortly thereafter wanting to gain a better understanding of available options to avoid a repeat occurrence.

Flash forward to 2019 and it’s clear the challenges of differentiating in pitches have evolved. Discussing basic litigation finance options is no longer the winning play that it used to be. Most law firms now have at least a basic understanding of the mechanics of funding, as do many claimants. Afterall, litigation funding has been a golden stock for many investors and the financial press is often keen to discuss new fund raises, launches, profits and other developments.

Sure, there are nuances to funding that require a more intricate understanding beyond the standard marketing blurb and headlines, but from a pitch perspective in today’s market, the talk of funding is incredibly one dimensional.

So, how can a firm make better use of the litigation funding and insurance market to set themselves apart? When a lawyer approaches us with a possible new opportunity that they are preparing to tender for, there is a process we go through to ensure the lawyer is best equipped to deliver a cutting-edge proposal, designed specifically for the client in question.

To simply say funding is potentially available and that you perhaps have a couple of ‘relationships’ with funders that you have worked with historically, coupled with a basic example of how funding works is far too rudimentary. Creating a bespoke solution for the client that is shaped upon their tolerance for risk, their liquidity position and, importantly, their ultimate goals in the litigation or arbitration requires knowledge as to how these arrangements can be structured. However, the creation of the structure need not take a lot of lawyer time. With some basic background details, and given just a few hours, we can usually put together various structural examples that can be presented as part of the pitch to the client.

Standing out from the crowd requires constant evolution. Ensuring your team always has the requisite knowledge to tailor the most appropriate litigation financing arrangement can be time consuming – which ultimately means costly. Involving a specialist like TheJudge at the pitch stage can alleviate this burden and increase your win rate.

 

Verity Jackson-Grant

Director of Business Development

+44 (0) 203 965 5333

Email Verity here