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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Litigation Funding Seminar for International Association – June 25 – Fordham Law School

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 Moderator: Timothy Scrantom, Co-Founder and CEO, Fulbrook Management; Founder, Juridica Management Panelists: 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 Moderator: Bernardo Cremades, Founder, B. Cremades y Asociados Panelists: 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? Moderator: David Samuels, Managing Editor, Global Arbitration Review Panelists: 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: Selvyn Seidel, Co-Founder and Chairman, Fulbrook Management; Co-Founder, Burford Group Ltd

5:30 – 5:45 Conclusion: Edna Sussman

5:45 – 7:00 Reception

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