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These companies have backed a slew of big-dollar corporate lawsuits, including investor litigation in Volkswagen’s emissions scandal and a $213 million unjust enrichment case against U.S. billionaire Ira Rennert. But foreign governments are emerging as popular targets as well, putting taxpayers at risk for ever-larger claims. In addition to Tenor, firms working this niche include London Stock Exchange-listed Burford Capital, IMF Bentham Ltd of Australia and Therium Group Holdings Ltd of the UK vintage military cufflinks uk online.
Litigation finance companies typically seek returns of three to 10 times their initial investment, industry players said. Now a market is developing for these firms to begin cashing out before a suit concludes by selling portions of their portfolios, or even slices of individual cases, to other investors. Burford, for example, scored a 736 percent return by selling for $107 million its entitlement in a case against Argentina over two expropriated airlines vintage military cufflinks uk online. Burford said it invested $12.8 million in the litigation..
Critics fear this financing will embolden companies to bring weaker cases, and that developing countries will be more likely to be sued for adopting regulations to protect public health or the environment. Money from funders also discourages companies from sticking with long-term commitments in foreign markets, according to Lise Johnson, the head of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment at Columbia University in New York. “With third-party funding there is an incentive to sell a claim, extract cash and leave,” she said vintage military cufflinks uk online.
Litigation finance companies say they are helping the underdogs: small companies wronged by governments. “It’s an easy story to tell that these are rapacious hedge funds trying to bring a struggling country to its knees,” said Zachary Krug, senior investment officer with funding firm Woodsford Litigation Funding in London vintage military cufflinks uk online. “That’s not what we do.”. Eric Blinderman, who heads the North American business of funding firm Therium, said funders guard against weak cases by providing a neutral opinion on the strength of claims. He said his firm backs less than 5 percent of the cases brought to it, and requires a 70 percent chance of success..
Otherwise, he said, “we’d lose a lot of cases we funded and Therium would be out of business shortly.” vintage military cufflinks uk online. The Crystallex case started in 2011, when Caracas expropriated the company’s mining project at Las Cristinas, one of the world’s largest gold deposits located in southeastern Venezuela. Crystallex sought compensation through what is known as investor-state dispute settlement or ISDS, by bringing an arbitration case registered with the World Bank. Effectively bankrupted by the loss of its Venezuela project, Crystallex turned to Tenor..