Liesker Procesfinanciering in Breda has been funding high-potential legal proceedings in exchange for a share of the proceeds since 2011. In particular, the company hopes to fund more cartel damages cases and large commercial claims through the alliance with Ploum.
According to director Sara Liesker, the partnership also aims to bridge the gap with the legal profession. ‘We have been on the road with our company for almost a decade now. We see that clients, especially SMEs, are increasingly coming directly from the market. The number of clients who come to us through a law firm is decreasing proportionately. Frankly, that surprises us. We think it should be standard practice for firms to present clients with the possibility of litigation funding. That is also what Ploum is going to do.’
According to Liesker, firms often view litigation funding as a form of competition. ‘Whereas it is not. On the contrary. Thanks to the possibilities of process financing, firms can actually gain clients. Our alliance is also intended to send that signal to the legal profession.’
Ploum clients can cover the cost of expensive litigation more easily and on more competitive terms with Liesker, said Michel Jacobs, partner at Ploum lawyers. ‘Companies’ legal budgets are usually limited and not sufficient to fund large expenditures of costly litigation. We are going to explicitly point our clients to litigation funding as a strategic tool that can be used.’
Ploum will also get priority with Liesker from now on when the litigation funder needs a law firm for proceedings. Jacobs: “The cooperation between us and Liesker is not exclusive, so both parties can do business with others. But you can consider us a preferred supplier.’
Liesker Litigation Funding focuses on financing claims with a minimum value of €500,000. Proceedings are handled by outside law firms, often on a fixed-fee basis. If the case wins, litigation costs are met from the proceeds and Liesker receives a fee averaging 30 percent of the remaining amount. If lost, litigation costs will be paid by Liesker.
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