Lawyers who have used or are interested in using litigation finance are forming more positive opinions of its ethics and societal impacts, according to results from Bloomberg Law’s 2021 Litigation Finance Survey. When compared with results from the same questions in the 2020 survey, the responses show that attitudes toward the litigation finance industry are generally more favorable than they were just last year.
When asked if they agreed or disagreed that litigation finance enables more frivolous lawsuits, 57% of lawyers in last year’s survey disagreed, while this year, 78% disagreed.
Similarly, last year, 70% of lawyers agreed that litigation finance enables better access to justice. That number jumped to 88% of lawyers this year.
And in 2020, 57% of lawyers agreed with or were neutral toward the statement that the litigation finance industry had a positive ethical reputation. This year, that figure rose to 72% of lawyers.
These attitudinal trends will be welcome news to litigation funders, who have for years been aiming to assure the market that litigation finance is an aboveboard and useful financial tool for plaintiffs and the law firms that represent them. Using litigation finance, funders maintain, allows claimants who might otherwise not be able to afford sophisticated counsel to see their solid legal claims through to trial or settlement.
It seems that the use of funding is also catching on: The survey revealed that lawyers are much more likely to seek funding now than they were five years ago. As more lawyers gain experience with litigation finance, that familiarity may be causing their hesitations to fall away.
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