Recently, Thomas Brom, a writer for The California Lawyer, interviewed, Vinson Resolution Management’s CEO, Donald E. Vinson, about VRM’s litigation finance business and the industry as a whole. The article, “Litigation Funders Upset The Justice Marketplace” can be read in the June issue of the California Lawyer, or online here.
The author takes a neutral look at litigation finance and goes into depth about the benefits, the ethics, and the disapprovers. Mr. Brom also discusses the now infamous
Chevron Corp. v. Donziger where a litigation funder, Burford Capital, financed New York attorney Steven R. Donziger to pursue decades-long quest to hold Chevron Inc. liable for oil pollution in Ecuador only to have Burford terminate the agreement when Donziger was found to have violated federal racketeering statute. When asked about the Chevron case, Don is quoted in the article “The Chevron case has drawn a great deal of attention,” says Donald E. Vinson, CEO of Vinson Resolution Management, a litigation funder in El Segundo. “I have a great deal of respect for Chris at Burford. Chevron’s pursuit of the funders carried a message to a certain segment of our industry. But it doesn’t relate to us-we would never have considered the Chevron case because of its inordinate risk.”
At Vinson Resolution Management, we pride ourselves on the quantitative due diligence we undertake in assessing the risk of the legal claims we evaluate. While not the emphasis of this article, the article showcases the inherent risks with pursuing litigation and the need for a thorough evaluation before agreeing to provide millions dollars for a legal case. Subjective analysis can be filled with biases and that is why VRM developed the Evaluation Protocol, a proprietary technology that leverages advanced statistical and mathematical techniques along with behavioral sciences to assess the worthiness of a claim and its potential for financial return. Scientific due diligence is proving to be a powerful tool to help litigants and funders determine the viability of a case.