Legal finance is a new industry that has gained prominence over the years because of its future capabilities and the current industry that it services most people aren’t aware of is a needed asset. Since in its emergence in the early 1990s in the United States, the profile of the industry has continued to rise over the years in the legal press, finance press, and mainstream press. However, given the different audiences legal finance can affect the news coverage of the industry has been different.
Legal Finance in the Legal Press
In the legal oriented outlets, legal finance is covered as a tool for plaintiffs’ to overcome long delays in the civil litigation process which can be financially draining. It has also been covered in the legal press as a tool for plaintiffs’ attorneys to use against well-funded defendants so they aren’t bullied into a bad settlement or pushed into a loss because of the lack of funds. As the industry evolved the legal press covered the different kinds of funding coming online like plaintiff funding, plaintiffs’ attorney funding, divorce funding, structured settlement funding, appeal funding, verdict funding, judgment funding, case cost funding, arbitration funding and litigation funding. Within those niches of legal finance, many legal articles have been devoted to their legality and practical usage in the legal world. In 2019, the legal finance industry continues to grow with more ink devoted to its future, white papers, conferences, and podcasts have also been created towards forecasting issues pertaining to the industry. One thing that is certain is legal finance has emerged from the shadows and is now a mainstream topic in legal circles.
Legal Finance in the Financial Press
As with any new industry, while it is being established the next question is usually how people will make money from it. Legal Finance is no different in that respect. As the industry grew from its nascent beginnings, it was populated primarily by mom and pop operators. Small business people some in the factoring community, others from the plaintiffs’ law community who saw and opportunity and took a chance. In the financial press, the story was the huge gains and margins these people were making providing funding to plaintiffs’ law firms and attorneys across the country. To be fair, legal finance started in Australia and the United Kingdom and has become a worldwide phenomenon and the financial aspect of the industry was covered in the financial outlets in those countries. Outlets like the Financial Times, Australia Financial Review and others documented the kinds of profits legal finance provided the investors in those countries. Both countries pale in size to the United States so when the financial press started to pick up on the industry in the United States, it started to become mainstream. The Wall Street Journal published articles and publications like Forbes and Bloomberg about the industry and people started paying attention. In the last few years, huge investors have allocated huge sums of money to companies in the industry chasing the profits and yield it has been reported to provide. As it continues to become more mainstream, financial outlets will have devote a team to cover this industry that can affect so much.
Legal Finance in the Mainstream Press
Finally, in the mainstream press legal finance has been written about in the human interest aspect. Some of the stories have been negative given to some bad actors that will charge huge fees and onerous rates to plaintiffs’ receiving funding on their lawsuits and/or settlements. Others stories have been about the government regulation and attempts to regulate the industry. The stories about legal finance have appeared in the N.Y. Daily News, The Economist and The New York Times, and other in the mainstream outlets and as the industry continues to evolve and gain notoriety there will be more stories.