Woodsford Litigation Funding and Leste Litigation Finance announce a unique international cooperation agreement to serve the growing market for third party funding of international arbitration and litigation related to Brazil and Latin America.

In this ground-breaking arrangement, Woodsford and Leste will liaise on opportunities that draw on Woodsford’s expertise in the US, UK, EU and international arbitration markets, and Leste’s expertise in the Brazilian and Latin American markets. The cooperation will include assisting one another on reviewing opportunities, drawing on the multi-lingual, multi-qualified litigators and other professionals in their respective teams, and co-funding. While the cooperation agreement does not affect the independence of either business, it creates a network of litigation and arbitration funding and professional expertise that will speed up the process for claimants and their lawyers on a global scale.

The international arbitration market generally, and specifically with respect to Brazil and Latin America, continues to grow. The ICC, for example, recently announced record figures for new cases filed in 2016, including a 15% rise in parties from Latin America, with Brazil climbing to third place in party rankings worldwide.

The international market for third party litigation and arbitration funding is also on the rise. Woodsford’s recent experience indicates that the vast majority of claimants in ICSID arbitration, and a large proportion of claimants in ICC arbitration, have actively considered third party funding options, and many have entered into third party funding agreements. A Third-Party Funding Taskforce set up in liaison with the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) and Queen Mary’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies in London has carried out a 2-year study of the rapidly growing market, and will shortly make recommendations on how the international arbitration market should best accommodate third party funding.

Woodsford Litigation Funding is one of the most well-established third party funders in the international arbitration and litigation market. Based in London, Woodsford has a growing portfolio of international commercial and investor-state arbitrations. With an impressive track record of success, including in the flagship case of Essar v Norscot, Woodsford boasts a stellar team of arbitration specialists, including John Beechey, formerly president of the Court of Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), who sits on Woodsford’s investment advisory panel.

The litigation funding division of Leste is the Brazilian leader in the management of financial products related to arbitration and litigation. Leste is the first and only Third Party Arbitration Funder in the country and manages a portfolio of complex litigation cases. With offices in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Miami, Leste is a key player in the Latin America legal market.

Steven Friel, Woodsford’s CEO, commented:

“Our relationship with Leste has already been successful. Woodsford has benefited from Leste’s input on a London deal that required Brazilian input, and Leste has introduced Woodsford to a Brazilian-related ICC arbitration. We look forward to ongoing cooperation with Leonardo Viveiros and his team”.

Leonardo Viveiros, Legal Counsel at Leste, commented:

“Our cooperation agreement with Woodsford brings us an extraordinary increase in the number of cases in which the common law is applicable. The agreement opens doors for both firms and we are very excited for what is coming next.”