Recent years have witnessed the use of litigation finance expand rapidly across the globe. As practitioners become more familiar with its many advantages, judges and arbiters recognise its positive role in promoting meritorious claims, and claimants realise its potential to hedge risk and manage ever growing legal costs.

Latin America is no exception to this trend. Indeed, the volume of litigation and arbitration across the region is already substantial and the costs to litigate (or arbitrate) a matter can be considerable.

Importantly, Latin American countries do not prohibit third-party funding of a litigant’s legal claims. This is because the region’s legal systems are largely code-based, civil law regimes and therefore did not inherit the common law’s feudal prohibitions on maintenance and champerty. But, by and large, the practice has not yet been adopted widely and relative to the overall volume of disputes, the use of funding remains in its infancy. This may soon change.

The slow but steady expansion of litigation funding in Latin America may be viewed in four key areas: the growth of international arbitration, the promulgation of guidelines regarding funding, the rise of local litigation funders and the need for education.

Oct-Dec 2017 issue

Woodsford Litigation Funding