At its inaugural annual conference on October 24 in New York, the International Legal Finance Association (ILFA) gathered a group of senior in-house and private practice lawyers to discuss how to set up an efficient and effective affirmative litigation strategy.
“If you are at a large firm supporting corporate clients and you don't have some internal expertise on litigation finance, I would get it fast. Because if you don't, if you're not in a position to give it to us, we're going to find it somewhere else. It has been hugely valuable to us as a department and as a company, so we're looking to further that partnership and further explore opportunities.”
- Dan Nugent, US General Counsel, Nestle
As US General Counsel of Nestle, the largest publicly held food company in the world, Nugent’s comment drives home that GCs expect law firms to be knowledgeable of legal finance and the various funding options available to them. This reflects recent findings in a survey of GCs, in which nearly three in ten in-house lawyers (28%) say that while their panel law firms have not talked about the availability of legal finance, doing so would have aided their company’s success.
Demonstrating knowledge and familiarity with legal finance is now considered table stakes for law firms. As Nugent says clients want and expect their law firms to communicate all their options when faced with high-value disputes and it sets them apart from their competitors when they do so.
About the panel
The panel was moderated by Sarah Tsou, Portfolio Manager, Global Intellectual Property and Senior Investment Manager, Omni Bridgeway, the panel included Terri Ahrens, Assistant General Counsel, Litigation, US Foods; Ian DiBernardo, Partner, Brown Rudnick; Blase Iaconelli, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Aramark; Steven Nachtwey, Partner, Bartlit Beck; Dan Nugent, General Counsel, Nestle Zone North America and Nestle USA.