Bill Strong, chairman, Longford Capital
Bill Strong, chairman, Longford Capital

Longford Capital has announced that former Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman and Co-CEO for Asia Pacific Region, Bill Strong, will join its team as chairman. Bill will bring 35 years of experience managing investment to Longford and will offer his support in bringing litigation finance options to more corporations. Strong’s appointment will become effective May 1.

Litigation financing offers companies pursuing legitimate legal claims money upfront in exchange for a portion of the award or settlement stemming from a courtroom win.  

“Bill is one of the most widely respected finance executives in the United States and overseas. His deep grasp of capital markets and trusted relationships within the global banking and investment communities will help us build on our strengths and accelerate the use of litigation finance as a powerful tool for companies involved in litigation. We expect Bill’s active leadership to reinforce our position as an innovator in the commercial litigation finance industry,” said William P. Farrell, Jr., co-founder and managing director of Longford Capital.

Strong’s background in international finance will help him in overseeing the development of litigation investments for Longford. The appointment hopes to capitalize on the growing litigation finance trends that have recently gained wider acceptance in the United States and could offer a potentially lucrative investment strategy for corporations.

“This emerging finance sector will experience significant growth. From an asset class development perspective, litigation finance today is where private equity was in the early 1980s,” Strong said in a statement accompanying his appointment.

Though litigation finance and investment has a long history in areas like Australia and the United Kingdom, it has yet to gain the same level of traction in the U.S.

Opponents of litigation financing say that it could potentially lead to a higher frequency of frivolous suits or conflicts of interest. However a recent survey showed that around 79 percent of lawyers see the practice as an essential tool for resolving suits. In addition to thawing attitudes from lawyers, state courts have also increasingly ruled that the use of litigation financing does not interfere with proceedings.

The potential shift in attitude could point to a sea-change in the litigation financing industry.


For more on litigation finance, check out these stories:

Illinois allows litigation funding in pre-trial ruling

Litigation: Are lawsuits the newest commodity?

Survey says lawyers receptive to litigation funding