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Every so often, bad news around the litigation funding industry bursts onto the pages of the legal press and sometimes national press with gusto.
Collapsed cases, Ponzi scheme allegations, loud calls for further regulation, and even more calls for Third Party Litigation Funding (TPLF) to be outlawed, are all parts of an on-going saga involving funding. To those outside looking in, it must seem like there is rarely a dull moment for we funders.
Incidents become known by semi-heroic sounding taglines such as Excalibur (as in the collapsed case against Gulf Keystone last year) or Argentum, the fund whose financial backers are facing various allegations overseas.
Funders should take it as a back-handed compliment that critics pore over such happenings.
When bad news strikes, the question which is often raised is: What does the future hold in store for litigation funding? Has the growth of the industry run its course? Will it ever enter the mainstream?
Sorry if this disappoints, but the future is far less volatile than the headline writers would have us believe.
The future health of litigation funding will be determined more by its adaptability rather than newsworthy events.
Over the past few years, changes in the world of litigation have been plentiful.
The Jackson Report, cost sanctions, fixed fees, the use (or non-use) of DBAs and hybrid DBAs, are just some of the events or models that have impacted upon litigators.
The future of funding will have more to do with the attitudes of litigators and the widening of their knowledge of the system.
The view around TPLF may be that funders have interests in a great deal of cases going through the commercial court. In truth, of the many thousands of cases that pass through the Chancery Division and Commercial Court each year, funders will be presented with only a small number and will fund even fewer.
Therefore, the impact on the mainstream has
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