Joshua Libling joins as portfolio counsel from Boies Schiller, brings expertise in commercial and antitrust litigation; James Amend, former Kirkland partner and former chief mediator for US Federal Circuit, joins as senior investment advisor; Validity reports healthy uptick in demand for commercial litigation finance.
NEW YORK, CHICAGO (March 10, 2020) – Litigation funder Validity Finance announced two noteworthy additions to its investment team in New York and Chicago.
Joshua J. Libling, an experienced commercial and appellate lawyer joins Validity from Boies Schiller Flexner. He becomes a portfolio counsel in New York. Also arriving is James Amend, a renowned patent trial lawyer, mediator and former partner at Kirkland & Ellis. Mr. Amend becomes a senior investment advisor based in Validity’s Chicago office.
As portfolio counsel, Mr. Libling will help identify, vet and oversee litigation investments in stand-alone lawsuits and law firm portfolios of hybrid contingency cases. With a broad background in complex commercial disputes, Mr. Libling was involved in some of Boies Schiller’s highest-stakes cases including plaintiff and defendant-side actions at all levels of the federal courts.
As former Pro Bono Coordinator at Boies Schiller, he also bolsters Validity’s commitment to high ethical standards in dispute funding, including cases with claims related to social justice and exoneration.
A magna cum laude graduate of New York University School of Law, Mr. Libling clerked for two federal judges: Judge Chester Straub of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and Judge Kenneth Karas of the Southern District of New York.
“We’re thrilled to have a lawyer of Joshua’s caliber join us,” said Validity CEO Ralph Sutton. “He brings outstanding trial experience in big-ticket commercial disputes and is an expert at case evaluation. His commitment to social justice cases while at Boies Schiller suits him admirably for our client-first approach to funding.”
Julia Gewolb, Validity’s Head of Underwriting, worked with Mr. Libling at Boies Schiller for several years and added “Josh brings substantial case experience and understands the key milestones over the life of a litigation matter. I know firsthand how much analytic and strategic strength he will add to our underwriting process.”
The addition of Mr. Amend reflects a growing pool of complex patent disputes under consideration for funding by Validity. In addition to his three-decade tenure as a Kirkland partner, Mr. Amend served as chief mediator for the United States Federal Circuit Court of Appeals from 2007 to 2013. In that role, and in subsequent years as a JAMS neutral, he has mediated over 600 patent and intellectual property cases. Mr. Amend also authored the federal judges’ patent treatise, Patent Law – A Primer for Federal District Court and Magistrate Judges (Eds. 1998 and 2006).
“Few practicing lawyers — or judges for that matter — have the breadth and depth of courtroom experience Jim brings to Validity,” reports Validity CEO Ralph Sutton. “We are exceptionally fortunate to have his help reviewing the expanding opportunities we’re seeing in the intellectual property area.”
Surge in Cases for Funding
The U.S. market for litigation finance continues to grow at a healthy pace. Validity has screened over 650 potential matters since its launch in June 2018, including over 150 patent opportunities. Validity’s acceptance rate for investments remains under 5%, however. These investments include commercial lawsuits, arbitrations (domestic and international) and law firm portfolios, as well as asset enforcement matters.
“We suspected there would be significantly more demand for dispute funding than we’d seen previously when we entered the market in 2018. But we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the strong uptick in funding requests in each subsequent quarter,” Mr. Sutton said. He noted the firm reviewed over 120 new cases in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone. Overall, Validity has reviewed cases from 30 states and 20 countries internationally.
“We’re pleased with the steady advance of the firm, especially the robust bump in investment opportunities after just 18 months from launch,” Mr. Sutton said. “Our call-out message that litigation finance must focus on clients and building trust has clearly resonated with the market. We’re committed to using our capital to expand equal access to the civil justice system and look forward to supporting more worthy cases in 2020.”
About Validity: Validity is a commercial litigation finance company that provides businesses, law firms and individuals with non-recourse financing for a wide variety of commercial disputes. Validity was founded in 2018 with $250 million in committed, one of the largest first-round capital raises in the U.S. market. The firm announced an additional $50 million in capital in 2019. Validity believes that capital and legal expertise combine to help solve legal problems on behalf of clients. Validity’s mission is to make a meaningful difference for clients by focusing on fairness, innovation, and clarity.
Kate Boyd, email@example.com