Bentham IMF breaks the mold of Law and Finance, completing hires that establish gender equality and build on specialized expertise of Investment Management Team

NEW YORK, January 29, 2019: Leading commercial litigation funder Bentham IMF has hired Sidley Austin LLP partner, Dana MacGrath, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP partner, Sarah Tsou, as investment managers and legal counsel responsible for sourcing and evaluating arbitration and commercial litigation matters that meet Bentham’s investment criteria. The company has also hired Chief of Staff, Tina Young, from Deloitte Consulting LLP. This marks the second round of hiring at the company since it launched its most recent fund in November 2018. 

Bentham and its parent company, IMF Bentham Limited (ASX:IMF), already stand out in the male-dominated industries of law and finance for having women throughout the ranks—including at the board of directors, senior management and investment management levels. These new hires, along with hires the company announced in December 2018, establish gender equality at a level where law firms and financial institutions have struggled to achieve it. The company’s ten-person senior investment management team in the US, which is comprised solely of lawyers in business-generating roles comparable to equity partner roles at law firms, now has an equal number of men and women. This achievement furthers the company’s tradition of setting high standards for diversity in the burgeoning industry it helped to form. 

The arrival of Dana and Sarah also strengthens the company’s ability to evaluate cases in areas of practice where demand for funding is high. Dana will be responsible for leading the company’s investments in international arbitration matters. She has long been a leading practitioner in international arbitration, having conducted arbitrations before the preeminent international arbitration institutions, as well as before ad hoc arbitration panels, and serving as an arbitrator herself. She has also represented US and foreign parties in disputes regarding the enforceability of arbitration agreements and arbitral awards, forum selection and choice of law clauses, sovereign immunity and discovery in the international context.

Sarah will enhance Bentham’s ability to evaluate intellectual property matters for investment, in particular patent litigation. She brings the perspective of a big firm lawyer who has spent over a dozen years representing clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies in all aspects of complex litigation from inception to trial. In addition to litigating patent disputes spanning a broad range of technologies and industries, Sarah has also handled trade secret and trademark litigation and counseled clients in corporate acquisitions, licensing matters, and other transactions.

Tina Young will play a management role for Bentham, drawing on more than 25 years’ experience working in the financial services and TMT industries for companies including JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., Morgan Stanley and Reuters America. Throughout her career, Tina has held senior leadership roles on global teams devoted to data management, leveraging industry and client insights, providing strategic sourcing solutions for risk and compliance, expense management and procurement.

Dana and Sarah will give us the unique competitive advantage of having the in-house expertise to rapidly evaluate arbitration matters and intellectual property litigation claims and invest in those most likely to help us sustain our 90% success rate ,” said Allison Chock, Bentham’s US Chief Investment Officer. “ We’re thrilled that recruiting the very best candidates for these roles also brought about the unintended but excellent circumstance of establishing a 50/50 gender balance on our senior investment team .”

The law firms and claimants that partner with Bentham choose to do so for the factors that set us apart from other funders: our unparalleled experience, our impressive track record, the simple and fair investment terms we offer, and access to a team comprised of litigators from top-tier law firms and litigation boutiques,” said Charlie Gollow, Bentham’s US Chief Executive. “Steadily building on our team’s specialized expertise, first with the 2017 hire of our bankruptcy funding specialist, Ken Epstein, and now with the hire of Dana and Sarah, furthers our ability to make Bentham the obvious financier to choose—for general commercial litigation, as well as bankruptcy, international arbitration, intellectual property and other types of matters.”

The team’s newest hires are highly qualified in their respective fields. Dana has been recognized as a leading practitioner of international arbitration in various directories, including Chambers USA, Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration, Latinvex in “Latin America’s Top 100 Female Lawyers” and Expert Guides’ Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration. She is the current President of the Board of Directors of ArbitralWomen, an international nonprofit organization that promotes women and diversity in international dispute resolution. She is also a member of several other professional associations. She is an adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, where she teaches a seminar on international commercial arbitration and coaches the Brooklyn Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot team. Dana earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her B.A. cum laude, from Middlebury College. 

Sarah has tried numerous cases before federal district juries and judges, arbitration panels, and the U.S. Patent Office, and she joins Bentham just weeks after her latest jury trial win. Working with the world’s premier intellectual property trial lawyers, she has secured significant verdicts and judgments for both plaintiffs and defendants, including some over $100 million. Sarah and her cases have been recognized in The American Lawyer, Law360 and other publications. Most recently, one of her successes was profiled by Law360 in its announcement naming her former firm a 2018 IP Group of the Year. In addition to taking various committee leadership roles at her former firm, Sarah was a recipient of the Kirkland & Ellis LLP Pro Bono Service Award. She earned her JD from New York University School of Law and her BA from Washington University in St. Louis, graduating summa cum laude, with Highest Honors.

About Bentham IMF
Bentham IMF is the US arm of publicly listed IMF Bentham Limited (ASX: IMF), one of the most successful litigation funding companies in the world, and one of only two Chambers and Partners “Band One” litigation funding companies in the US, with a portfolio that has a total claim’s estimated recoverable amount of $5.6 billion AUD. Together, our companies have 14 offices throughout the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Asia and provide funding to clients in jurisdictions including the US, UK, Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. We have reviewed thousands of commercial cases in the past 17 years, funding to completion 179 cases and generating $2.3 billion AUD in recoveries. We have achieved a 90% success rate, with clients utilizing our funding retaining an average of 62% of all case proceeds.

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