Litigation funding for international arbitration takes center stage on June 25  for a New York State Bar Association seminar at Fordham law School.  Registration is here. As always, Selvyn Seidel is one of the speakers, and the fee is very modest at $ 75.

The agenda is pasted below:

Themes and Objectives

A commercial claim is increasingly being viewed as a commercial asset, with value and use like other assets.  Around this new asset class, an emerging industry is growing:  third party capital investments to buy an interest in merit-based assets, with the capital to be used to prosecute the claim in return for some form of interest in the asset.  If successful, the investor gets investment returns related to the recovery.  If unsuccessful, the investor takes the loss.

Such investments are still unknown to the majority of the potential market members.  They are gaining attention, and are increasingly being used by parties who need the financial support to pursue their claim.  Top tier law firms, major multi-national corporations and sovereign states are among those starting to turn to third party funders. Funding need per case has a wide range, running from the thousands to the tens of millions.  Recoveries anticipated in the cases are similarly wide ranging, from the thousands to the many billions.  Although data in this emerging market and industry is scarce indeed, one thing is for certain:  the market need dwarfs the available capital.

While investments in commercial disputes have something of a history, particularly in Australia and the United Kingdom, such investments are just gaining traction in the United States.  The American Lawyer thus recently labeled it the “New New Thing”.

Despite growth, several important parts of the industry have remained relatively untouched.  Funding of international arbitration claims is one such area, and a critical one.  Only now is it starting to gain some attention in the market, in the press and in academic institutions.  The market is demanding that notice be taken.

This Roundtable is among the first to respond.  It is devoted to investments in international arbitration claims.  The Roundtable is designed to strategically cover this important topic and to provide a platform and springboard for expansion of knowledge, analysis and understanding. 

Presentations, comments and questions by prominent experts in the field, including providers, users, academics and the media, will explore the current market structure, status, issues and opportunities. You will learn how the industry and the law is developing, what funders look for in making their investment decisions, what commercial,  professional, and ethical considerations need to be reviewed, why international arbitration may be ripe for expanded use of such investments, and what empirical research reveals and predicts for the future. Join us for knowledgeable and cutting edge discussions and presentations on an emerging practice that may serve to benefit the market and industry.

To supplement the discussions, written materials will also be distributed to address topics covered as well as to fill in gaps where limited time prevents discussion.

Scope of Program, and Those Who May be Interested in the Program

The program is designed for those interested in the emerging industry and market which involves third parties to a litigation providing capital to fund financial needs including the litigation or arbitration costs involved in prosecuting meritorious commercial claims in return for an interest in a recovery in the dispute.  It is focused on the most recent sector of that industry attracting interest and importance, the financing of international arbitration claims. 

Cutting edge topics to be covered include areas relating to professional and ethics issues (such as champerty, confidentiality and lawyers’ duty to avoid interference with their independent professional judgment); funding’s possible impact on the attorney-client relationship; attorney-client privilege; conflicts of interest among the participants; operational issues such as finding a funder, the role and responsibilities of the lawyer, the different structures available for funding, the various funder products and funder services provided, and the returns to and risks of the funder; analysis of how “sacred”  the contract is in this industry; and “hands-on” versus “hands-off” considerations.

The program will therefore be of particular interest to business entities and others who need such support; to attorneys whose clients need such support; to arbitrators; to judges; to academics; and to the media. 


Third Party Funding of International Arbitration Claims:
The Newest “New New Thing”


1:00 – 1:45           Registration and Lunch

1:45 – 2:00           Welcome and Introduction – Edna Sussman, ADR Practitioner in Residence, Fordham Law School,
                                                            Chair NYSBA Dispute Resolution Section

2:00 – 3:00           The “Old” –  Third Party Funding Basics
Timothy Scrantom, Co-Founder and CEO, Fulbrook Management; Founder, Juridica Management
Jonathan Ames, Senior Contributor, London Times; Editor, European Lawyer
                                Mark Beckett, Latham and Watkins, Partner and Co-Chairman, International Litigation and Arbitration
                                Timothy Nelson, Skadden Arps Meagher & Flom, Partner, International Litigation and Arbitration  Group
                                James Tyrrell, Patton Boggs, Member, Executive Committee; Chairman, Funding Alternatives

What is Third Party Funding of Commercial Claims?
                                Products, Services, Finding a Funder, Various Structures, Issues, Case Law, Status

3:00 – 4 :55          The “New”Third Party Funding of International Arbitration Claims:  Similarities and
                                Differences from Funding Litigation Claims, Products, Services, Issues, Recent Jurisprudence, Status
Bernardo Cremades,  Founder,  B. Cremades y Asociados
Michele DeStefano Beardslee, Associate Professor, University of Miami Law School
Nigel Blackaby, Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
                                Bruce Green, Louis Stein Professor, Fordham Law  School
                                James Rhodes, Arbitrator and Mediator
                                Maya Steinitz, Associate-in-Law, Lecturer-in-Law, Columbia Law School

The Work and Impact of Funding in International Arbitration
                                Importance and Implications
                                Selected Illustrations
                                Distinctions Between Funding Arbitration and Litigation
                                Actual and Potential Benefits; International Arbitration v. Litigation
                                Actual and Potential Ethical and Other Issues; Perceptions and Publicity
                                New York, Front and Center
                                United States compared to United Kingdom

4:10 – 5:00           Where do we go from here?
David Samuels, Managing Editor, Global Arbitration Review
Bernardo Cremades, Founder, B. Cremades y Asociados
                                George Bermann, Walter Gelhorn Professor of Law and Director of European Legal Studies, Columbia Law School
                                   Maurice Mendelson  QC, Blackstone Chambers, London
                                   Timothy Scrantom, Co-Founder and CEO, Fulbrook Management; Founder, Juridica Management
                                   Selvyn Seidel, Co-Founder and Chairman, Fulbrook Management LLC; Co-Founder, Burford Group Ltd
                                Stefan Vogenauer, Director, Oxford Institute of European & Comparative Law, Oxford University

Growth of Information and Analysis
                                Spread of Credibility
                                Impact on Market and Industry
                                Rules, Regulations, Regulators

5:00 – 5:30           Open Question and Answer
Moderator:        S
elvyn Seidel, Co-Founder and Chairman, Fulbrook Management; Co-Founder, Burford Group Ltd

5:30 – 5:45           Conclusion:  Edna Sussman

5:45 – 7:00           Reception