Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Senate Majority Whip, are calling for more transparency in the litigation finance industry. Litigation finance firms fund plaintiffs to pursue lawsuits, taking a cut of the recovery if plaintiffs win or settle with the defendants. Critics of the industry say that firms fund frivolous lawsuits, drive up costs for all litigation, and exercise undue influence in the strategy and decision making for those they fund. Advocates for litigation financing say it helps plaintiffs, who would not otherwise be able to pursue lawsuits, have their day in court.
As a part of their push for transparency, Senators Grassley and Cornyn sent letters to three major industry firms, Burford Capital, Bentham IMF, and Juridica Investments Ltd., requesting a complete list of cases each company has funded in the last five years, how much money they made, and whether other parties in the litigation were informed of the funding arrangements. The firms have yet to respond to the requests.