New York Office

published May 24, 2013
In August 2011, IMF announced the establishment of an office in New York which will be operated through a wholly owned subsidiary under the name Bentham Capital. The new venture will be led by one of the most experienced commercial litigation funders in the US, Ralph Sutton.
In August 2011, IMF announced the incorporation of a wholly owned subsidiary, Bentham Capital LLC to operate in the US litigation funding market from offices in New York.

The US litigation market is by far and away the largest in the world. With only a few dedicated litigation finance entities operating in the US, this is a particularly opportune moment to enter and establish our presence there. IMF's enviable track record of success and extensive experience funding a wide variety of disputes in Australia and around the world should provide a strong ability to develop work in the US. In addition, because our US operation will be based in New York, arguably the capital of the US litigation market, with the highest concentration of top law firms and investment opportunities in the country, we will be well positioned to secure a steady flow of deals right from the start.

Two important factors distinguish the US legal market from the UK or Australian legal markets: the absence of adverse cost risk, and the widespread use of contingency fee arrangements. Both factors reduce IMF's risks in different ways. The absence of adverse costs lowers the cost of adverse litigation results because we are never responsible for defendants' legal fees.

The increasing use of contingency fee agreements by commercial and IP litigators means that the law firm's incentives will be more closely aligned with our own than in hourly fee cases. In addition, the global financial crisis has led many clients and law firms to seek alternative fee arrangements, a need that is increasingly being met by litigation finance, among other means.

Bentham Capital will be led by one of the most experienced commercial litigation funders in the US, Ralph Sutton. Ralph helped create, then manage Credit Suisse's litigation finance group for over four years.

As we have reported, we have done well in our past matters in the US, and we expect our US expansion to assist us to build a more predictable and robust deal flow.