What is legal finance?

What is legal finance?

What is legal finance?



Legal finance, also known as litigation finance or litigation funding, is a practice that involves providing financial support to individuals or businesses involved in legal disputes. It is a relatively new industry that has gained significant attention in recent years. In this article, we will explore what legal finance is, how it works, and its benefits and drawbacks.

Legal finance is a process where a third-party funder provides funds to cover the costs associated with a legal case in exchange for a portion of the potential settlement or judgment. This funding can be used to cover legal fees, court costs, expert witness fees, and other expenses related to the litigation process.

How Legal Finance Works: When a party seeks legal finance, they typically approach a litigation funding company that specializes in providing financial support for legal cases. The funder evaluates the merits of the case and the potential for a successful outcome. If the case is deemed viable, the funder will offer financial assistance.

Benefits of Legal Finance: Legal finance offers several benefits to litigants. Firstly, it provides access to justice for individuals or businesses who may not have the financial resources to pursue a legal case. It levels the playing field by allowing those with valid claims to take on well-funded opponents. Additionally, legal finance can help alleviate the financial burden of litigation, allowing litigants to focus on their case without the stress of mounting legal costs.

Drawbacks of Legal Finance: While legal finance can be advantageous, it also has some drawbacks. Critics argue that it may encourage frivolous lawsuits, as the funder’s return is dependent on the success of the case. There are concerns that this could lead to an increase in litigation and potentially overwhelm the legal system. Additionally, some argue that legal finance creates a conflict of interest, as the funder may exert influence over the litigant’s legal strategy.

There are different types of legal finance arrangements available, depending on the specific needs of the litigant. These include:

Single-case funding: This is the most common form of legal finance, where funding is provided for a specific case. The funder assesses the merits of the case and offers financial support accordingly.

Portfolio funding: In portfolio funding, a funder provides financial assistance for multiple cases. This arrangement allows litigants to spread the risk across multiple cases and potentially negotiate more favorable terms.

Appeals funding: Appeals funding focuses specifically on financing the appeals process. It can be used to cover the costs of legal representation, court fees, and other expenses associated with appealing a judgment.


Legal finance plays a crucial role in providing access to justice and leveling the playing field in legal disputes. It offers financial support to individuals and businesses who may not have the means to pursue a case on their own. However, it is not without its drawbacks, including concerns about potential abuse and conflicts of interest. As the legal finance industry continues to evolve, it is important to strike a balance that ensures fairness and integrity in the legal system.


– Burford Capital: www.burfordcapital.com
– IMF Bentham: www.imf.com
– LexShares: www.lexshares.com