$2.47 Billion of Capital Deployed Last Year Across U.S. Commercial Litigation Finance Industry, As Growing Sector Weathers Pandemic Storm
Westfleet Advisors’ 2nd Annual Litigation Finance Market Report Examines Unpredictable Year for Flourishing Asset Class
January 27, 2021—NASHVILLE— The number of litigation finance providers in the United States, their assets under management (AUM), and the dollars they committed to new financing deals, all grew over the last year, according to a new report from litigation finance advisory firm, Westfleet Advisors. As detailed in The Westfleet Insider: 2020 Litigation Finance Market Report, between June 2019 and June 2020, 46 active funders managed a combined $11.3 billion in assets allocated to US commercial litigation investments, an 18% increase from the previous year. Despite the onset of a global pandemic and resulting disruption to the justice system, the total dollars committed to new investments by funders also grew by 6% – to $2.47 billion.
For the second year, Westfleet analyzed data collected directly from litigation funders to calculate the size of the U.S. litigation finance market. The most complete and revealing picture ever painted of the sector, The Westfleet Insider features data and commentary on the size, scope and focus of U.S. commercial litigation finance. This year’s report builds on the 2019 edition by adding historical context and new metrics that contribute additional depth to the overall market analysis.
“One of our core beliefs is that reasonable industry transparency serves to educate the public and increase comfort with, and ultimately utilization of, litigation finance,” said Charles Agee, founder of Westfleet Advisors. “Because of the aberrational nature of 2020, we are wary of drawing sweeping conclusions about the trajectory of the market, however, it is quite clear that investors continue to be drawn to the sector, attracted by equity-like, non-correlated returns.”
It remains to be seen whether the pandemic and the dramatic slowing of the U.S. economy that followed will be an intermediate-term boon to the litigation finance industry. As highlighted in this year’s report, the disruptions in global business operations likely created a lag in litigation funders’ investment processes that caused deals to extend just outside Westfleet’s data collection period. Regardless, the report’s findings make clear that those who predicted a massive growth year for the litigation finance sector may have underestimated the impact COVID-19 would have on the efficient operation of the nation’s litigation infrastructure.
“Time—and hopefully a rapidly-approaching return to normalcy—will tell what the litigation finance industry’s precise trajectory is,” Agee added. “The challenges of the last year have brought into sharp focus the myriad inefficiencies and opportunities to improve, across the sector, which should drive growth and innovation for a long time to come.”
Additional significant findings from the 2020 edition of the Westfleet Insider include:
- The average size of the transactions Westfleet Advisors analyzed was $7.8 million. Single matter deals averaged $4.5 million, while portfolio transactions averaged $12.8 million.
- The distribution of deals between law firms and corporations remained relatively constant from 2019 to 2020.
- Litigation funding commitments to AmLaw200 firms remained consistent year-over-year, falling slightly from 30% to 28%.
- Eighteen percent of all capital deployed last year was for patent litigation matters, and 80% of client-directed portfolio transactions involved patent infringement litigation.
About Westfleet Advisors
Westfleet Advisors is the leading litigation finance advisor in the United States. It was founded in 2013 to bring greater transparency and efficiency to the litigation finance market by equipping users of litigation financing with expertise and resources. Our core mission is to ensure claim holders and lawyers have all the information they need to be successful with litigation financing. Our senior leadership has been active in the litigation finance industry since 1998.