Investment Manager at Omni Bridgeway
Ruth is a cross-border international dispute resolution lawyer, qualified in Australia and the UK. She has 12 years’ experience in private practice at leading global law firms; in global dispute finance and at one of the world’s leading international arbitration centres. She has represented multinational organisations in, acted as tribunal secretary for and reviewed from a commercial and legal standpoint complex cross-border matters throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, USA and the Middle East in a variety of sectors including defence, telecommunications, construction, media, pharmaceuticals and natural resources. One of the first to set up and manage local operations for a global dispute funder in Asia, Ruth has been commercially assessing dispute prospects and funding cases in civil and common law jurisdictions in Asia, and globally, since 2015. She has also worked to develop regional political and legislative frameworks to allow third party funding in key Asian jurisdictions. Ruth is a member of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre Task Force on Third Party Funding. Before joining Omni Bridgeway, Ruth was Managing Director for an exclusive broker to a global litigation funder in the Asia Pacific region. She joined the dispute finance market from the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre where, as Managing Counsel, she led the arbitration team for several years and, in 2014, managed the Centre as Acting Secretary-General. Read moreView Profile Page
I’ve got a case and I come to Omni; what’s the typical commercial structure?
One of the aspects that I like most about working for Omni Bridgeway is the commerciality and the flexibility of the solutions that we can offer. It’s not necessarily the same with other funders. We have rule of thumb criteria that we look for in cases that we are going to invest in but the approach, generally, is very can-do. How can we make this investment work? What terms can we offer that are going to work for the client and will also work for us? That really means that the financials of any particular deal vary quite widely, depending on what the case looks like.
Essentially, the criteria that we apply relate to three things. The first is the merits of the case and that is always the same. There has to be good prospects of success or there is no point investigating the case further.
Is that from a legal perspective?
Yes, from a legal perspective. The other two criteria that we apply relate to the economics. The second criteria looks at the possibility of recoveries. The other criteria that we look at are the economics of the particular deal. In making an assessment on that basis, we are looking at how much it is going to cost for the proceedings; and how much of that cost is the client looking for us to fund? Are they looking for any additional capital to go with that? Do they need seed funding to investigate the basis of the claim? Do they need any working capital to keep their business going, while the claim is on foot, or just generally? We need to understand the quantum of funding that is being sought and then we need to look at that in comparison to the realistic value of the claim. That is not the headline value of what is actually being claimed, but what we actually think the case is worth. We will then offer terms on the basis of what those two elements look like.
Generally, pricing can be any number of different structures. It might be that we get a reimbursement of our funded costs and then the return would typically be either a multiple of what we’ve spent or it could be a percentage of the amount that is actually recovered. It could be a combination of those two things. Terms might vary, depending on different factors. For example, up to a certain amount of recoveries, we might recover on certain terms and then, beyond a certain hurdle, we might then recover on a different basis, according to the nature of the claim, the quantum of the claim and how long we think it’s going to take.