Litigation funding for us is security of cash flow. There is a huge danger now that if you take on litigation and you lose - and it does happen - you're never going to get paid. Indeed, there are dangers on a CFA case that even when you win you don't get paid.
Most cases start with a phone call. You don't need to fill out a form and you can pick up the phone and speak to us at anytime.
Here is an outline of our process.
All of your communications with us are treated as confidential. If, after our initial conversation, it makes sense to work with each other, we ask the claimant to sign a confidentiality agreement to provide additional protection to our exchanges. We ask the legal advisor running the case to provide a case summary. Our questions to the claimant and the advisor will focus on our case criteria. If the case passes the first hurdle, we review the legal advice and any key supporting documents.
If the case is of interest after a review of additional information, we meet the claimant and their advisor. At this stage we enquire more extensively into the claim's background, its merits, value, timeline and likely costs to trial.
Getting the case in good shape for the Investment Committee might include obtaining counsel’s opinion or a valuation report.
This is work we often pay for. Before we spend this money and carry out this additional work we require confirmation of interest in our funding and agreement to the financial terms of our investment. If these matters are agreed, we complete a background check on the claimant and submit the case for formal approval by our Investment Committee chaired by Sir Gavin Lightman.
If the claim is approved, a funding agreement is entered into with the claimant which sets out the terms and extent of the funding. Once the case is approved for funding, the entire capital required right through to trial is set aside. Monies can be paid out immediately.
The amount charged for funding is determined by the amount of funding required, the value of the claim and when the matter is likely to conclude. Standard funding terms are a percentage of the proceeds of the action or a multiple of the amount of funding provided at the time the matter concludes. The claimant engages their advisors in the usual way and the legal advisors are paid their usual hourly rates.
For funded cases, all bills that qualify for funding are paid monthly throughout the life of a case.
The time it takes to complete our review process and decide whether to fund a case depends on the amount of additional due diligence needed to complete our claim evaluation. Service levels are extremely important to Harbour and we aim to carry out our initial assessment within two days of a referral.
As the claim proceeds, the legal advisor provides Harbour with a monthly report on case progress. If successfully concluded, whether by settlement or judgment at trial, the proceeds are paid to the claimant and Harbour in accordance with the terms of the funding agreement. If unsuccessful, all agreed costs are paid by Harbour.