Hedge Funds Hunt for Riches in Court; INVESTORS FINANCE LEGAL CASES WITH THE AIM OF GRABBING A SHARE OF HUGE PAYOUTS
Byline: SIMON WATKINS
WEALTHY hedge funds are financing legal cases in the courts in an effort to win a share of multi-millionpound damages payouts - a move that could fuel a boom in class actions, according to City legal sources.
Litigation funding, in which investors pay the legal costs of bringing a court action in return for a share in any damages, is the latest tactic being used by hedge funds - unconventional investment funds that use a range of complex techniques to make their profits.
Chris Warren-Smith, partner at City law firm Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, said: 'This is already happening in London. We know of a number of cases where hedge funds are providing finance and there is going to be a lot more of it in the future.
'Assuming there is going to be some sort of economic slowdown, hedge funds are looking for other ways of making returns outside financial markets.'
Meanwhile the UK's leading litigation funding company, Insolvency Management, said it was considering taking up a class action case against the Ministry of Defence on behalf of former servicemen.
Susan Dunn, managing director of IM, declined to give any details of the case, but she confirmed hedge funds were playing an increasing role in funding her clients' cases. …