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.
“We've been pretty successful in a couple [funded] actions and what really drove the decision making in large part was: What are our financial objectives for the year? We're a public company, there are numbers that we need to hit, and can this fill a hole? Is it that we want money now? Or maybe we want it to come in another fiscal year and being able to use litigation finance to help structure when that cash flow hits is viewed not just as a way of getting money in the door, but also getting a more consistent stream of cash flow over time.”
- Blase Iaconelli, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Aramark
As Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of US hospitality company Aramark, Iaconelli’s is a clear reminder of the cash flow and timing benefits of legal finance. While pending litigation and arbitration claims often represent vast latent value to a company, they also carry a lot of uncertainty as to outcome and timing.
A significant legal finance growth area for companies is the acceleration of expected damages tied in a pending litigation or arbitration often called “monetization”. Essentially, rather than waiting for a matter to resolve, companies can work with a legal finance provider like Burford to obtain an advance of a portion of the expected value of value of a claim or judgment. The capital advance can be used for any business purpose, including reinvestment in innovation or future growth, and the company gains certainty around cash flows.
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.