New York-based litigation funder Bentham IMF committed $300,000 over the next three years to the newly launched Civil Justice Research Institute at the University of California-Irvine School of Law.
The public company provides litigation finance to plaintiffs and investment capital to law firms for large disputes in the U.S. and for international arbitration. It says it’s funded more than 180 commercial litigation matters that have generated over $1.7 billion in recoveries.
The institute will study factors it believes limit access to America’s court system, such as inadequate funding of state and local courts; increased use of compulsory arbitration clauses favoring businesses and restricting judicial review; restrictions on class-action lawsuits; and limits on punitive damages.
The institute’s goals align with Bentham’s mission of expanding access to justice in a legal system “distorted by the runaway costs of litigation,” said Bentham Chief Investment Officer Ralph Sutton.
Roman Silberfeld, a civil trial lawyer and member of Bentham’s U.S advisory panel, will chair the institute’s advisory board.