FUNDERS FIND FOOTHOLDS - This year might have been a crushing disappointment for many folks who thought the worst would be behind us by now, but hey, litigation funders actually had themselves a pretty nice little 2021… so there’s that. As Law.com’s Dan Packel reports, commercial lit funders enjoyed a quiet but healthy year, with the U.S. market largely free from any existential crises that could put new pressure on their business model. “People have been trying to take stock after last year,” said Zachary Krug, a U.S.-trained litigator who recently joined London-based Signal Capital Partners to lead its litigation funding unit. Even amid surprise that “there wasn’t as great of a tsunami of COVID-related litigation as some expected,” he was pleased that “even though inflows took a dip in the early part of 2020, for the most part funders were able to find good opportunities and have relatively good deal flow.” A further sign of the industry’s maturation is the amount of interest coming from corporations looking to monetize potential claims. At publicly traded Burford Capital, the largest funder in the world, 2021 was the first year that business done directly with corporates outpaced that done with law firms.
CUTTING CLASS - Law school applicants and applications are on pace to once again be sky high for the 2022-23 year, but some schools are beginning to eye fewer enrollments, Law.com’s Christine Charnosky reports. Law school admission consultant Mike Spivey told Law.com that he expects enrollment numbers to drop in 2022 “when all is said and done.” And indeed, several law school administrators said the same, though each added the caveat that’s it much too soon to make any concrete predictions. The Law School Admission Council, which tracks enrollment numbers, also urged caution. “We tell people on our website these are early numbers,” Susan Krinsky, LSAC executive vice president for operations and chief of staff, told Law.com. “Don’t assume anything about how things are going to end up. It could slow down more or it could speed up more.”