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Litigation funder Lake Whillans has hired a litigator from Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz to help the growing financier vet cases for potential investment.

Garrett Ordower, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Garrett Ordower, an associate in Wachtell’s litigation department since 2012, will start his new job at the funder on May 1, according to Lake Whillans co-founder Lee Drucker. Ordower will be a managing director at the company and will largely work on assessing investments, Drucker added.


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Prior to joining Wachtell, Ordower was a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 

Ordower and Drucker have been friends since college. In an interview, Drucker said Ordower’s experience as a reporter—he was a journalist before going to law school at the University of Chicago—made him a particularly good fit for the role. “A lot of what we do in a lot of ways is investigative journalism,” he said, explaining that it’s important during the vetting of a case to dig into the facts and try to find holes in a claimant’s story.

The hire brings Lake Whillans’ full-time staff to four people, including Drucker, co-founder Boaz Weinstein and managing director Marla Decker. Like Ordower, Weinstein and Decker have backgrounds as litigators for a venerated New York law firm with deep ties to Wall Street, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Decker joined Lake Whillans from Cleary in October 2015 as its first full-time hire.

The company also has two strategic advisers, James Kearney, a former Latham & Watkins partner, and Ron Liebman, who previously was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Squire Patton Boggs.

Lake Whillans has been growing in other ways as well. The company locked in a $50 million investment from the University of Michigan in February this year.

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