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
Let’s say I’m a top law firm and I have a client that has a potential case. How would I choose a litigation funder?
There are a lot of things that you need to look at, in terms of who makes a good partner in providing the finance. Firstly, you have to think about if you want just the provision of finance or do you want expertise to come with it. That’s something where Omni Bridgeway is really quite a stand out in that respect. Some funders simply provide the money; they don’t really do any day to day management or engagement on the case. They sit back and wait to see what happens once the case is resolved. In our case, our level of involvement differs according to the case, but we certainly add a lot of strategic value, as the case unfolds and we help to maximize the chances of success, in terms of getting a favorable judgment or an award.
Another very important factor people think about when looking at a funder is expertise in recovery. It is all well and good to have a judgment or an award issued in your client’s favor, but what are you going to do about getting the money after that? That’s what it boils down to, for everyone. Not so much for the law firms because, often, their fees get paid regardless. But one of the key things about third-party funding is that it is non-recourse, so success for us means money in the door and, unless money is recovered at the end of the day, we don’t get a return of our investment and we certainly don’t get any return on that investment. The capability to recover funds, at the end of the day, is crucial. Omni Bridgeway is one of a very small group of funders that has in-house capabilities in that respect. This is, very much, something that we have been doing for the last 30 years and our track record is excellent and unmatched. That is something that law firms should take into account on their client’s behalf, when choosing a funder.
Another positive factor, both from client’s and our perspective, is that Omni Bridgeway is a listed entity so our financial position is transparent. A third-party funder is a partner, throughout the entire dispute, which can often take three, five or more years. You need to be sure that they are going to be there for the duration. The transparency of our financial position means that it is easy to see that we have the funds, that we are committing to a case and that we will be there for the long term. Those are things that people should consider when looking at who to partner with.