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Adding Strategic Value

Investment Manager at Omni Bridgeway

IP Interview
Published on December 1, 2020

Why is this interview interesting?

  • How litigation funders provide expertise and strategic value on top of just capital for cases
Executive Bio

Ruth Stackpool-Moore

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.

Interview Transcript

Could you just describe or give an example of this expertise or strategic value that you mentioned that Omni could provide?

I think there are really two categories to that. The first category comes out in the substantive proceedings. Simply, by the sheer volume of cases that we have looked at and worked on in the past, we’ve seen a lot of cases play out. We have seen a number of strategies adopted. We’ve seen a lot of arbitrators or judges in action so we can provide a lot of strategic insight, as the case progresses, in terms of how it should go ahead. I think that is very valuable.

Would the law firm come to you and ask your opinion?

Generally, the way a case runs on a day to day course of events, the lawyers are running the case. We are not necessarily involved in everything that is happening on the day to day but for big stuff, important things, pleadings, offers of settlement, procedural steps, we will be copied and we will know what is going on. Certainly, through paying the monthly bills or paying the bills when they come up, we are aware of what is going on in the case and what steps are being undertaken.

Either the firms will, proactively, ask for our input, if they think we can add anything of value. But certainly, if we see something happening and we’ve seen it before or we’re not seeing something happening that we think could usefully happen, we will raise it with the clients and with the lawyers. Ultimately, the decision as to what to do always rests with the client and is executed by the lawyers. But we do think that, simply by having those kind of discussions and weighing up options with an informed background, means that you are really, in most circumstances, progressing the case in a more strategic and effective way. That is the first area of value add that we bring.

The second one is on the enforcement side, so actually recovering. As I mentioned earlier, Omni Bridgeway has been successfully recovering against all different types of entities, including sovereigns, in almost any jurisdiction you can think of, for the last 30 years. That means that we have a lot of internal proprietary knowledge about how to do that successfully, in most jurisdictions. If there are jurisdictions where we have been unsuccessful, we know why and, potentially, we either know how to do it better next time or the reasons why it is simply not going to be achievable in that particular place, so efforts and resources aren’t wasted in doing it. I think that is enormously valuable to clients.

Particularly at the moment the insights that we can bring, at an early stage, as to whether or not a defendant is going to be a viable target. You don’t want to go through two, three, five years of litigation proceedings against someone to ultimately find out they don’t have any assets to satisfy the judgment that you get. We can do intelligence gathering at a very early stage, to make that kind of decision. With things like COVID going on at the moment, businesses that you might otherwise have thought were very solid and would not be an issue, our investigations enable us to gain a bit more certainty in relation to their position and really make a more informed decision as to whether to go ahead or not. You can have a coordinated strategy in place to make sure assets are not dissipated or that we simply know where they are, through the life of the case, to continually reassess whether it is still worth pursuing.

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