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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 4, 2020

Litigation Financing: Balancing Access with Fairness

  • Malcolm E. Wheeler EMAIL logo and Theresa Wardon Benz
From the journal Journal of Tort Law


Litigation financing of plaintiffs by financiers other than the law firms representing the plaintiffs in the litigation is now a multi-billion-dollar industry. Contrary to assertions by advocates for such litigation financing, such litigation financing does not increase fairness and justice to poor and middle-class victims. Instead, it creates substantial problems beyond any associated with standard contingent-fee agreements between plaintiffs and the lawyers who represent them.

This article describes the multiple ways in which the litigation-financing industry harms poor and middle-class tort plaintiffs and generates inefficient uses of judicial resources and jurors' time. It then recommends actions that courts can take to reduce those problems.

Corresponding author: Malcolm E. Wheeler, Counsel Emeritus, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell, LLP, Denver, CO, USA, E-mail:


The authors are grateful for the assistance provided by Dmitir B. Vilner in the research for this article.

Published Online: 2020-11-04
Published in Print: 2020-11-18

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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