Time to Call the Litigation Funder

With the rising costs of litigation, EGCR finds it valuable to understand that there are companies providing an alternative approach to funding cases.  Marla Decker, a former client and litigator from Cleary Gottlieb, is a Managing Director at Lake Willans Litigation Finance.  She outlines the advantages of hiring a company like hers in the article below.

It’s a fact.  Litigation is expensive.  Attorneys’ fees, travel expenses, document reproduction costs, expert witness fees and court reporting fees will add up.  Even while working with a partner like Ellen Grauer Court Reporting to reduce some of these costs [see, for example, the technology they offer on electronic exhibits and remote streaming,] your client may be facing litigation fatigue.  Like the kitchen remodel that has taken on a life of its own, the mounting costs may be daunting, but there is no turning back.

So what to do?  A client’s first instinct may be an attempt to renegotiate the terms of the engagement.  They may seek reduced rates, leaner staffing, write-offs or a contingency arrangement going forward.  Worse, they may simply rack up unpaid bills.  In the midst of discovery, this is the last thing the attorney litigating the case wants to have – a dispute with the client or within his or her firm.  Moreover, the client’s request may not be possible, much less desirable, due to the economic limitations or capital structure of the firm. 

But in this moment lies an opportunity:  litigation finance.  Litigation financiers like Lake Whillans provide non-recourse capital to companies engaged in commercial litigation or arbitration that can be used towards attorneys’ fees, expenses, and even other corporate purposes.  Lake Whillans can finance all costs in a case or supplement alternative fee arrangements by providing capital for a portion of fees and/or expenses.

While Lake Whillans finances cases at all stages of litigation from pre-filing to post-verdict, approaching us while discovery is underway has distinct advantages.  Of course, relieving the burden of mounting costs is certainly one.  Another is the increased probability of obtaining financing for cases that have proven strong so far: the case may have survived a motion to dismiss, discovery may have revealed great evidence or the judge may have expressed skepticism about your adversary’s arguments. Whatever the reasons as to why the case is going well, litigation finance allows your client to monetize those incremental victories. 

To best utilize litigation finance, you will want to choose the right partner.  There are a number of considerations, but especially once the case has entered discovery, a nimble funder like Lake Whillans can move quickly from inquiry to funding.  Once financing is in place, the client and lawyers litigating the case can worry less about fees and more about preparing for the tough depositions ahead.

Marla Decker photo

Marla Decker is a Managing Director at Lake Whillans Litigation Finance LLC and a former litigator at Cleary Gottlieb.   You can reach her at mdecker@lakewhillans.com.