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
How would you define a litigation case?
Effectively, a litigation case involves disputing parties. They might be single parties, in opposition, or they might be groups of parties. That might be in the litigation context itself, which is a public forum, so in courts. In might be in a private dispute resolution context, which is arbitration. It might be in an insolvency context, where you have got insolvency practitioners, creditors and others involved. There is really a whole range of scenarios in which you would have litigation or arbitration cases arise.
In terms of what value we add and how we become involved – in the past, typically, funding was developed as an access to justice type tool, so for parties to a dispute who couldn’t afford to bring their proceedings. Often, that might have been in the insolvency context or simply people who, through various circumstances, had been forced into a position where they didn’t have the money to bring their claim. They would look for a funder to allow them to pursue their claim and, hopefully, ultimately recover.
What has developed in the industry since then and which I think is the major value proposition that we have now, is that third-party funding represents a cash management and risk allocation tool for companies, whether they have the money to pursue their proceedings or not. That is not necessarily the central question. Really, what they are thinking about is their business strategy. Do they want to spend their balance sheet on these proceedings and what will they have to spend to pursue their claims? Normally, that would be juxtaposed with, do they want to spend that on their business?
Now, what they can do is, they can use our finance for the legal claims and use their own money for their business. In some circumstances, they can even get working capital from us, to invest in their core business operations while, at the same time, being able to pursue their case.