On 20 October 2021, a litigation funder announced a $40 million partnership with law firm, Lengiewicz Wrońska Berezowska i Wspólnicy, (“LWB”) to work on the already well-publicised Swiss Franc cases. They face stiff competition from several other law firms already running similar cases for years but which do not have the benefit of litigation finance.
Which offering works out best for consumers remains to be seen. Most law firms require an upfront payment from consumers, while (by virtue of litigation finance) the offering from Hestia/LWB does not. That said, law firms have been running such claims for years, so they have the benefit of experience, while Hestia is a new entrant to this market.
Let’s also not forget that the Swiss franc cases raise issues of EU law. Litigation finance won’t necessarily speed up the process, so it may be that all cases last longer than originally anticipated as the tension between the primacy of EU or Polish law is settled. Indeed, there is little certainly with these cases. In February of this year, a court in Łódź dismissed the claim of 1,700 consumers to cancel their Swiss franc loan agreements at mBank.
The battle will be observed intently by litigation funders. I don’t doubt that funders will nonetheless look to invest millions in the Polish market in the meantime in other cases.
The Polish market is ripe for opportunity and funders are keen to invest money. Of course, each case is unique and the funding needs will be different, however, early engagement with a funder will be paramount for a speedy outcome. Come prepared with a budget, a detailed case plan (addressing likely duration and causes of action) and a realistic timeline and that’s already half the battle won.