Shared risk, no win no fee and funding litigation
Commercial litigation is an inherently risky business in the sense that the law is rarely if ever an “open and shut case”. Add to this the risk on costs of pursuing a case and the tactics involved, together with the issue of whether any settlement or judgment will result in financial recompense, it is clear that pursuing a case is not for the feint hearted.
With commercial disputes, clients are becoming increasingly aware of some new options for assessing risk and to the extent possible, to hedge that risk. With very high value cases, there is a fast growing market in litigation funding, where commercial investors may agree to fund the costs of the claim in return for a return on the investment in the vent of success. Clients are also looking to lawyers seeking instructions in multi-million dollar cases to also, to an extent “put their money where their mouth is” by also sharing some of the risk.
As evidence of the inherent risk, one of the premier law firms in the UK, Addleshaw Goddard has lost a considerable amount of it’s fee in acting in the high profile case between the 2 oligarchs Roman Abramovich and Boris Beresovsky. the firm acted for the latter and apparently agreed a hybrid no win no fee arrangement where part of their fee was based on success.
Some in the legal press have almost scoffed at Addleshaws, suggesting that they made a significant error and that their reputation may have declined. At Bluestone, we take the opposite view, since we, like Addleshaws, but for smaller cases, also take cases on on a shared risk basis. We believe that any publicity associated with their involvement on a partial conditional fee basis is more likely to enhance Addleshaw’s reputation. Business people like lawyers who see things from their point of view, who do not, in every case, refuse point blank to accept any risk themselves, who are flexible.
If you have a commercial debt or commercial dispute issue and want to talk to experienced yet flexible advisers who will consider all available options to obtain the best result for you, get in touch with us. You may not be an oligarch and we are not Addleshaws, but we know how to get results !