Law Times: Canadian litigation financiers seeing increased interest in funding

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The commercial litigation finance industry has entered its fifth year of having an on-the-ground presence in Canada, with Omni Bridgeway (formerly known as Bentham IMF) having been the first funder to establish Canadian operations when it opened a Toronto office in January 2016. As the industry reaches this milestone, its place in the market is confirmed by courts granting approval of litigation funding agreements and clients and law firms increasingly looking to it for assistance amidst current economic uncertainty. Law Times’ recent article, Omni Bridgeway sees spike in applications, reports that bankruptcy, insurance and cannabis are among the sectors most recently showing interest in pursuing claims with funding. 

For funders like Omni Bridgeway, the uptick in activity has been considerable. Paul Rand, Chief Investment Officer for Omni Bridgeway Canada notes that the company is on pace to receive double the applications in Canada this month as compared to one year prior. “While we haven’t been really probing people about the financial reality that they find themselves in, it’s pretty clear that the imperative to conserve cash is driving a lot of businesses to look at litigation funding,” he says.

The C-suite has begun to see litigation financing as a real option, Rand explains. “CFOs and treasurers are turning their mind to different sources of liquidity,” he says. 

That shift in focus, coupled with the initiative lawyers are taking to keep cases moving by using litigation financing as working capital for a case or portfolio of cases, is allowing Omni Bridgeway to be “a creative force” in keeping the economy moving, says Rand. “We’re here to help and keep the economy going as much as we can—in our own narrow way,” he says.