Reflections on Bentham's First Year in Canada
Whilst 2016 was a somewhat discombobulating year across the globe, it was also a year of new beginnings, terrific opportunity and achievement.
In our first year, Bentham Canada received over 100 applications for funding and I’m delighted to report that we have funded our first case. The funding is subject to court approval, so stay tuned…
Rather than predicting trends for this coming year, below I reflect on the past 12 months with 12 insights:
- A loonie is not what I thought it was.
- Canadian lawyers across the country are keen to understand litigation funding and to educate their clients. Thank you to all who have met us for a coffee or a meal, and to the many firms who have invited us to present to them and/or to their clients.
- Wind-chill means something, particularly when assessing whether to bike to work (yes, it can be done at -24, but only if I look like I’m about to rob a bank and then hit the slopes).
- Our litigation roundtable concluded that ethical concerns about litigation funding are either manageable under current rules and regulations or more apparent than real – the discussion is summarised in this Whitepaper.
- “Stick handling” has nothing to do with driving a manual car.
- Many firms include information about litigation funding in their responses to RFPs as part of their commitment to value billing and to exploring AFAs with their clients.
- Snow shoes are not winter boots (a lesson learnt at MEC much to the amusement of the sales staff).
- Law firms are keen to explore funding to enable them to litigate a portfolio of commercial cases on a contingency basis.
- Well-capitalized corporations view litigation funding as a cost management and risk mitigation tool, enabling them to pursue litigation off balance sheet.
- Traversing this vast country takes longer than one might think but it is well worth taking the time to explore beautiful BC, the vibe in Calgary during Stampede and the charms of Quebec.
- Junior lawyers see litigation funding as a tool to help them grow their practices and get on their feet.
- Canadians are a very helpful bunch - generous with their referrals and connections.
Alongside Naomi and Adrienne, my Canadian colleagues and now friends, as well as the larger Bentham family, I want to thank the myriad of people who have supported and encouraged us along the way. Finally, a huge e-hug to my husband and three girls, who have approached our Canadian adventure with great equanimity and enthusiasm.
I look forward to the mercury rising again soon (please?), and to discovering what our second year will bring.