Woodsford Litigation Funding – the successful funder in the landmark case of Essar v Norscot – launches a new range of funding products to help parties in international arbitration

Legal IT Newswire: LONDON and NEW YORK – Wednesday 8th February 2017, Woodsford Litigation Funding, the global provider of litigation financing solutions for businesses, individuals and law firms, has announced a range of funding products to help parties finance international arbitration cases. Woodsford was the successful funder in the landmark case of Essar v Norscot.

In Essar v Norscot, the tribunal found in Norscot’s favour and that Essar’s conduct had effectively caused Norscot’s impecuniosity and forced it to seek third party funding, and therefore it was right and proper that Essar should pay Norscot’s funding costs, including the success fee that had become payable to Woodsford.  As a result of this outcome, Woodsford Litigation Funding have developed two funding products to aid those parties who are involved in international arbitration against an opponent who is behaving unreasonably.

The first product allows ‘Funding for the Claimant when the Respondent fails to pay institutional and arbitral fees’ and the second product is ‘Respondent funding’.

·         Upfront fees payable to arbitral institutions, are in most international arbitrations shared by the parties. But, it is often the case that the Respondent fails to pay its share. The Claimant is usually thereby forced to pay the Respondent’s share, which in some cases can be in excess of US$100,000. Seeking third party funding will in many cases be a reasonable option. As the Respondent’s conduct in such circumstances is demonstrably unreasonable, the Claimant will, based on the finding in Essar v Norscot, have a good argument that the Respondent should be held liable for the third party funding costs. 

Woodsford Litigation Funding has designed a ‘sliding scale’ product that will allow Claimants, faced with the Respondent’s failure to pay its share of the arbitral costs, to turn the tables on the Respondent, and to ratchet up the pressure through the threat of costs sanctions. 

·         In Essar v Norscot, the Respondent was forced to pay the Claimant’s funding costs. In other cases, it could be the other way around. A Respondent faced with an unmeritorious claim from a well-resourced Claimant may find it difficult to fund a defence from its own resources, and third party funding could therefore be a reasonable option. In due course, the Respondent’s funding costs could potentially be recovered from the Claimant. Woodsford has developed a new Respondent funding product that could assist in that very situation.

Steven Friel, CEO of Woodsford Litigation Funding, comments, “At Woodsford, we are proud of our reputation as the go-to funder in David v Goliath cases, highlighted by our involvement as the successful funder in Essar v Norscot. Globally, regulatory reform is helping to expand the market for arbitration finance in specific markets. However, given our involvement in the Essar V Norscot case, we are better placed than other funders to work with parties in international arbitration and their lawyers to help them gain a tactical advantage. We are already in discussions with a number of international law firms about our new products and we expect there to be an increased demand for specialised arbitration funding.” 

For further information visit http://woodsfordlitigationfunding.com/content/arbitral-fee-funding-and-respondent-funding-4  or follow on Twitter @WoodsfordLF or LinkedIn.

Notes to editor

About Woodsford Litigation Funding

Founded in 2010, Woodsford Litigation Funding provides tailored litigation and arbitration financing solutions for businesses, individuals, and law firms. This includes both single case and portfolio litigation funding and arbitration funding. Woodsford’s Executive team blends extensive business experience with world-class legal expertise. Woodsford Litigation Funding is a founder member of the Association of Litigation Funders of England and Wales.

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