You finally did it. You’re the dog that caught the car. It took a while, but you’ve landed your “case of a lifetime.” That potentially career-defining case with a unique combination of complex legal issues, potentially significant damages and a defendant who can pay the tab. But the case won’t be easy and it won’t be quick. It is not long before a new challenge sets in: can your practice survive a lengthy and expensive litigation? Should you, or can you, even take the case?
The financial burdens of pursuing a complex, long-term litigation shouldn’t be taken lightly. A defendant with deep pockets knows how to play the game and almost certainly will try to grind you down, wear you out and make such a venture financially untenable. You’ll weather discovery battles, depositions, expert analysis, reports and testimony, multiple motions, possible interlocutory appeals and perhaps a costly trial. Extensive travel could be involved. You might find you need additional or dedicated staffing for just this one case. Are you prepared to tackle these impending issues head-on?
Deciding to take on the case brings the obligation to your client to see it through to the end. That includes being prepared to make a significant investment of time, resources and dollars; an up-front investment with no guarantee of when—or even if—you’ll get any return.
The good news is that, it no longer has to be a case of David versus Goliath. The trend toward self-funding has been diminished—plaintiffs’ attorneys are no longer forced to sink hard earned fees or personal assets into a single large case or into the firm during its pendency. There are a variety of outside financial resources now available to help you level the playing field and not only survive, but thrive on the way to the finish line—no matter how long it takes to get there.
Financing can become imperative to keep your firm well positioned to handle not only extensive litigation costs, but also firm operational costs that don’t stop because you’re ensconced in a big trial. Better still, with available financing options tailored specifically to contingent-fee attorneys, you can determine the best way to deploy such resources. If you need to invest in the litigation, pay travel costs, hire experts or cover trial expenses, you may elect to use the line for that purpose. If the other segments of your practice are impacted while resources are redirected to the “big” case, you may need money to cover salaries, rent, utilities or other costs associated with running your firm during this time.
If you find that traditional lenders, like banks, can’t give you the amount of credit availability you need to effectively run your practice, consider alternative litigation financing sources that value your contingent fees as collateral. Almost always these specialty funders can provide you access to 2-3x’s more capital than a traditional funder.
In short, there are modern, available financing options at your disposal that will allow you to pursue that case of a lifetime, without having to put the rest of your practice in jeopardy to do so.