Litigation funding around the world
International know-how and powerful allies
AREAS OF FUNDING
For many years it has been par for the course for Omni Bridgeway AG to support its customers also in international disputes. We provide funding for various kinds of proceedings and cooperate with different partners abroad.
Our support is independent of the arbitration proceedings chosen, the place of arbitration, and the applicable law. It is in particular the enforcement of claims pursuant to investment protection treaties (also called bilateral investment treaties, or BIT) that requires specific expertise that goes above and beyond the legal consulting usually provided by lawyers.
Omni Bridgeway has access to a wide network of international professionals, such as lawyers and experts. Should you so desire, we would be happy to provide you with recommendations as to internationally experienced professionals. Omni Bridgeway has been enforcing judgments handed down by civil courts and courts of arbitration for three decades, with said judgments being directed against debtors in nearly all corners of the world, but particularly in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. We would be happy to provide you with this service, as well.
We provide funding for claims:
- Asserted through individual and collective actions brought in Austria with amounts in dispute of at least EUR 200,000;
- Asserted through actions brought before the courts of Switzerland with amounts in dispute of at least CHF 500,000;
- Asserted by non-domestic claimants before the courts of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland;
- On a worldwide basis in the context of co-funding provided with one of our partners from abroad;
- Asserted in international arbitration proceedings (ICC, UNCITRAL, ICSID, LCIA, Swiss Rules);
- On a worldwide basis in the context of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
In Austria, Omni Bridgeway AG provides funding for collective actions as well as individual actions with amounts in dispute of at least EUR 200,000. This covers the assertion of claims both extrajudicial and in court, as well as mediation and arbitration. In this context, our particular expertise is located in the field of collective action (“collective action of Austrian character”).
For Austria, our terms and conditions are the following:
When providing litigation funding, Omni Bridgeway AG assumes the costs of the proceedings; in the case of a win and after reimbursement of costs incurred, Omni Bridgeway AG receives only a fair share in the proceeds in turn. As a rule, said share amounts to 30-40 percent in the case of Austrian (individual) proceedings; in each case, it will be agreed upon beforehand.
Assuming the costs of the proceedings means that the costs of the claimant’s lawyer pursuant to the Rechtsanwaltstarifgesetz (RATG, Austrian Act on Lawyer’s Fees) will be borne by Omni Bridgeway AG, as will be the court costs (lump-sum fee). Similarly, the litigation funder will also advance the costs incurred for the taking of evidence and any specialist reports that may be required. Should the claimant not prevail, we will also compensate the opponent for his costs – the claimant assumes no financial risk associated with the legal action.
We do not assume any expenses incurred in the context of the review and preparation of the case by a lawyer – our own review, however, is free of charge.
In Switzerland, Omni Bridgeway AG provides funding in selected areas of the law for claims brought by private individuals and enterprises with amounts in dispute of at least CHF 500,000; the selected areas of the law include inheritance law, bankruptcy law, the laws governing medical malpractice, capital investment law, as well as the laws governing contracts and commerce.
For Switzerland, our terms and conditions are the following:
Our share in the amount realized in the proceedings usually equals 40 percent. We will receive 30 percent of any amount in excess of CHF 500,000. In case of a settlement being agreed prior to legal proceedings being opened, or in case of successful mediation, a blanket share of 20 percent accrues. We are also happy to arrange for individualized terms and conditions that cater to the personal circumstances of the claimant.
Should the claimant not prevail in the proceedings, the costs incurred in their context remain with us, of course.
We pay lawyers according to the applicable fee rate or pursuant to a fee agreement.
Whosoever is not familiar with German, Austrian, or Swiss law and the appurtenant proceedings as a rule faces a conundrum: He can only assess the prospects of success with the help of a domestic lawyer. In this context, litigation funding makes an additional check possible. Since our interests line up exactly with those of the customer, we review and assess objectively the prospects of successfully asserting his claim. If we find that the chances of the claim being successfully asserted outweigh those of a loss, and if we decide to fund the proceedings, we will continue providing our service until the proceedings are brought to a (hopefully successful) end. The non-domestic claimant can rest easily as he knows that his claim is taken care of by someone whose goals are the same as his, but who has local knowledge and experience.
Massive proceedings with very large amounts in dispute tend to require high liquidity and bring along great risk; in such cases, co-funding makes the provision of sufficient funds possible. Litigation funding works like co-insurance in this context, where the leading insurance provider makes the decisions and the co-insurers remain in the background. In cases in which we intend to retain a co-funder, we will inform the claimant accordingly and will obtain his consent to do so. We will, however, remain his sole point of contact and fellow decision-maker. Any internal coordination with the co-funder will be of no consequence to our customer.
For many years Omni Bridgeway AG has provided funding for international arbitration proceedings under the various rules of arbitration (such as ICC, UNCITRAL, ICSID, LCIA, Swiss Rules).
Since the costs of international arbitration proceedings tend to be very high, arbitration is worthwhile only where the amounts in dispute are large, too, i.e. at least EUR 2 million. The costs, together with the obligation to make large advance payments, depend to a significant degree on the court of arbitration chosen and the number of arbiters; in the worst case, the respondent does not pay his share, which means these costs must be assumed, too, thus increasing the total sum to be advanced even further.
Omni Bridgeway AG fulfills the claimant’s obligation to make advance payments and pays for the claimant’s lawyer, experts, witnesses, etc. As a general rule, the advance payments to be made are decidedly higher than those in national proceedings. In the case of an unfavorable arbitral award, the claimant will have to bear none of the costs at all since we will even assume the opponent’s legal fees.
Particular know-how is required in order to successfully lead arbitration proceedings. Lawyers and funders should be sufficiently experienced in this international business, and they should recognize and understand its tricks and pitfalls. It is precisely this knowledge that Omni Bridgeway AG itself has at its disposal; alternatively, we have partners who are able to contribute their country-specific expertise.
The various forms that alternative dispute resolution may take present a more cost-efficient and often quicker way to end disputes than a civil suit does, or arbitration proceedings do. Additionally, they tend to put less strain on the relationship among the parties, since the goal here is to find a mutually satisfactory solution. Therefore we recommend alternative dispute resolution and take account of its special circumstances by reducing our share in the proceeds (usually agreeing a lump-sum amount). We will be happy to answer any questions you might have in this regard.