Speaking to Law.com’s Daily Business Review, Shook, Hardy, & Bacon partner Hildy Sastre opined on the phenomenon of MDLs growing into “record-setting numbers in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of cases.” According to Sastre, that rapid growth is helping to drive a feedback loop whereby bigger cases invite additional litigation funding, which helps in turn to drive bigger cases, and so on.
One of the major problems with litigation funding is the near-total lack of transparency around funding agreements, which may allow funders to structure agreements in a way that gives them more control of decisions related to the litigation. An effective solution to this problem, according to Sastre, would be the disclosure of the funding agreements themselves.
Momentum in favor of disclosure requirements seems to be growing around the world. Earlier this month the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey implemented a rule amendment requiring the disclosure of certain information about third party litigation funding in any funded case heard in New Jersey federal court, and across the Atlantic, European Union lawmakers have announced a legislative initiative that would create a raft of new safeguards around the litigation funding industry.