Litigation funder Bentham IMF adopts Code of Best Practices for US

NEW YORK, January 13, 2014: Bentham IMF, the world’s most successful litigation funder, adopted a Code of Best Practices today. The Code will govern its operations in the United States. Bentham developed the Code to increase the transparency of its own operations, and to encourage greater acceptance of litigation finance. The Code may also provide other commercial litigation funders with a suitable model to adopt or to tailor for their own purposes. Bentham hopes to engage in an industrywide discussion of self-governing standards. The Code may be downloaded from the firm’s website.

Commercial litigation funding is maturing rapidly in the United States,” said Ralph Sutton, Chief Investment Officer at Bentham. “Funders should articulate their operating practices in their respective markets. A code of conduct for funders currently exists in the UK. And in Australia, our parent company has set the gold standard for funding transparency since 2001. We aim to provide leadership in this regard in our funding operations around the world.”

Bentham’s Code outlines best practices in four distinct areas: interactions with the public, attorneys and claimants, and regarding financial strength. Basic notions of fairness, accountability, transparency and responsibility inform its provisions. Bentham developed its Code in connection with its first Litigation Funding Roundtable, convened in September 2013 in New York to initiate a rigorous discussion of critical funding issues. The Roundtable consisted of top academics and leading trial lawyers. In addition to the Code of Best Practices, a full report on the Roundtable and its compelling findings is also available on Bentham IMF’s website.

Bentham will convene a second Litigation Funding Roundtable on January 23, 2014, bringing together litigation finance experts and leaders of the practicing bar at the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford University.

We hope that our new Code and ongoing Roundtable discussions and reports will promote a better understanding of litigation finance,” said Allison Chock, the head of Bentham’s Los Angeles office. “Together, they are a rich resource for judges, lawyers, claimants and funding professionals.”