Lake Whillans Litigation Finance focuses on commercial litigation finance, and typically funds business torts or breach-of-contract cases. The firm looks for cases seeking more than $20 million in damages.
But the company isn't interested in speculative, conclusory damages. Consequential and punitive damages are not ideal, either. The gold standard for litigation financing damages? Out-of-pocket losses.
"We want a strong evidentiary record showing that the plaintiff is substantially in the right and will win damages that will make the investment make sense," said managing director Chris Hagale.
Hagale said the rule of thumb for "hard" damages is 10:1. That means 10 times more damages than the funder's investment.
Personal Injury Cases
For those lawyers not in the $20 million market, there is a market for small personal injury financing. Billionaire George Soros is backing Mighty Group, which advances money to plaintiffs in personal injury cases.
In any case, litigation financing can be expensive. It can help litigants and attorneys, but it comes at a price.
Plaintiffs counsel have to make sure the benefit is worth the bargain -- especially for the client. Attorneys should not do business with a finance company that seeks to assert control over the litigation.