Litigation funder Validity Finance launched a Washington office Thursday, naming Wiley Rein co-founder Bert Rein as a senior adviser and former Greenberg Traurig litigator Nicole Silver as investment manager, in a move that acknowledges the size and importance of the D.C. legal services market.

The development underlines the increasing commercial activity that runs through the nation’s capital, and the city’s prominence in the international arbitration world, said David Kerstein, senior investment officer at Validity.

“D.C. is an important legal market in general, both for litigation but also as a hub for international arbitration on trade and cross-border disputes,” said Kerstein, adding that since its inception, Validity has been interested in funding business-to-business cross-border disputes, which are increasingly brought via arbitrations. “We’ve always thought that the best way to build trusting relationships with the best lawyers, firms and clients, is to have talented and experienced boots on the ground in important legal markets.”

Kerstein said Validity’s mandate is to invest in “the most valuable” domestic business litigation, complex commercial litigation, and international cross-border arbitration. The funder looks at matters ranging from breach of contract, to fraud actions, to breach of fiduciary duty, to patent and other IP matters.

In the area of international arbitration, Validity looks at “commercial litigations wrapped in an arbitration wrapper,” said Kerstein, noting that companies that are involved in cross-border disputes increasingly have arbitration provisions requiring alternative dispute resolution instead of litigation.

Such matters often involve large damages and are expensive for parties and law firms to bring. Litigation funding helps them mitigate some of the risk, said Kerstein.

Validity already had offices in New York, Houston and Chicago, along with operations in Tel Aviv, Israel. At launch the funder’s Washington office will be occupied by Silver and supported by other offices, but it does not rule out future hires.

Gaining the stamp of approval from Rein was somewhat of a coup for Validity, the company’s leaders admit. While remaining a partner at Am Law 200 firm Wiley Rein—the firm he co-founded in 1983— the storied Beltway lawyer will help the litigation funder navigate the complex web of legal networks and business in Washington.

“We’ve known and worked with Bert and his firm for nearly a decade,” said Kerstein. “And you really can’t have a better additional resource to help us launch our D.C. presence. Bert has unparalleled experience, connections, longevity and gravitas.”

Rein sees Validity’s move into Washington as a rational next step for the litigation finance company. The market has a significant pool of litigation talent and is a center for commercial arbitration and international disputes.

He believes Washington’s lawyers will feel more comfortable working with a litigation funder that has boots on the ground.

“Lawyers often feel more comfortable dealing with an entity that has a physical presence in the place where they practice,” Rein said. “It’s not impossible to be funded by somebody who has an office in New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco. But there’s a comfort to knowing that the people who are working with you are accessible.”