Legal Luminaries Lead Discussions about Litigation Finance Driving Law Firm Profitability at Bentham IMF Fifth Anniversary Event
On September 21, 2016, Bentham IMF celebrated its five-year anniversary in the United States with a seminar co-hosted with Bloomberg BNA entitled Litigation Finance: Driving Law Firm Profitability.
Bentham’s U.S. Chief Investment Officer, Ralph Sutton, opened the event with a brief recap of the growth Bentham has experienced since entering the U.S. legal market, including consideration of more than 800 funding opportunities, expansion to three U.S. legal markets and the development of an investment management team comprised of experienced litigators from top law firms.
The event featured a keynote address by Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the School of Law at University of California, Irvine, based on his new book, “Closing the Courthouse Door.” Dean Chemerinsky discussed how restrictions on the standing to sue are preventing U.S. citizens from getting their day in court and how Congress or the Supreme Court could address the issue under the new administration.
The keynote was followed by a panel discussion, featuring DLA’s chairman Roger Meltzer, Kirkland & Ellis’ Reed Oslan and Bentham’s Allison Chock, exploring how litigation funding drives law firm profitability and growth. Roger Meltzer indicated that risk allocation via litigation finance is increasingly being explored as an answer to the pressing question of how firms, particularly Big Law, are going to be able to finance themselves over the long term. He distinguished Bentham from other funders, noting that the in-depth diligence we conduct before investing in a case sets us apart. Reed Oslan urged the audience to be open-minded about litigation funding, stating, “[funder involvement] is not changing the way cases are handled, it’s just an interesting value add.”
Bentham’s U.S. investment management team, board of directors and senior Australian management team also participated in the celebration.