Litigation Funding for Smaller Claims is a Game Changer for the Industry
Litigation funding has traditionally been reserved for big class actions. The Litigation Funding market size in Australia in 2020 was $141.1 million based on revenue (ibid), with a large portion derived from class action claims. Finally, funding is now available for smaller single action claims across Australia. Funding has four main benefits:
1. Dependable cash flow for law firms
Funding ensures that firms are paid month to month, providing dependable cash flow and alleviating financial pressure. Funding can also pass potential debt obligations carried by the firm to the fund. These obligations can include counsel and experts costs.
2. Funding can produce better outcomes for clients
Funding can often be used offensively to pressure the Defendant for better settlement terms.
The Defendant is placed on notice that an independent company believes in the merit of the case. This may weaken the Defendants belief that they have a viable defence. It also places the Defendant on notice that the Plaintiff is committed and has the financial resources to go to a full hearing. This can dramatically change the tone of any settlement negotiations and force a larger settlement amount.
3. Access to Justice
A potential plaintiff may have a great claim, however lacks financial resources. For example, a client, justifiably, may not want to risk his or her family home in the pursuit of justice. The stress of litigation may be compounded when faced with an action against a potential defendant with large resources. Funding changes this dynamic, giving the client the financial backing to pursue the claim and alleviating the financial stress than comes with risking family assets.
4. Helps keep the Firm independent
Often a Firm agrees to take a contingent matter based on a best case scenario. For example, on the basis that the total costs will be $100,000 and the matter will run for 18 months. Rarely does a matter stay within the original scope of the cost agreement. A matter will often snowball with clients providing further instructions and defendants running delay and misdirection tactics. This can apply added pressure as a lawyer tries to balance his or her obligations to the court, client and firm.
Funding can remove the firm from this dynamic and help the Firm act independently without having to factor in the firms financial position.
Litigation funding now plays a fundamental role in helping our legal system operate in a healthy and equitable manner by supporting clients and firms run claims with merit. This form of finance is now no longer restricted to class action claims. If you wish to discuss a potential claim or wish to learn more about The Advocate
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P. (02) 86514141