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August 15, 2019

Burford Controversy Might “Cool Down The Hype” Around Litigation Funding

Some legal experts told Law.com the third party litigation funding industry “might not look the same in the aftermath” of the short-selling and accounting controversy that has embroiled industry leader Burford Capital.

A St. Albans, England-based lawyer said the short selling report has “probably poured some water on the litigation funding fire that has been raging” and “cool[ed] done the hype around” the industry, while also potentially opening the door to further regulation. A Steptoe & Johnson lawyer said he “would not necessarily consider a case concluded after a judgment or an award when the claimant has a right to appeal,” which is something Muddy Waters, the short seller, has accused Burford of doing.

U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa A. Rickard said the developments “underscore our long-held view that the third party litigation funding industry needs greater oversight and transparency,” and she urged regulators to “take action in order to protect litigants and innocent investors.”

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