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Overseas litigation funder taps Texas lawsuit market, Houston attorney to head office

Southeast Texas Record, February 22, 2017

By: David Yates


HOUSTON – One of the most successful litigation funding companies in the world has widened its U.S. reach, establishing a base of operations in Texas.

On Feb. 21, Bentham IMF announced attorney Eric Chenoweth, a commercial and intellectual property litigator formerly of Yetter Coleman, will head the Australian-based company’s new Houston office.

“I believe there are many funding opportunities in Texas and the Southwest,” said Chenoweth. “Bentham is superbly positioned to serve as a commercial litigation funder of choice for plaintiffs, companies and law firms across the region that recognize the value of sharing financial risk in their litigation matters.

“Texans have a strong appreciation for innovation, and Bentham, with its risk-sharing models and excellent track record, will fit extremely well in our market.”

Chenoweth was a partner at Yetter Cloleman for the past 13 years.

At Bentham, he will analyze and manage investments in commercial litigation, and will also serve to “raise awareness of funding with the bar, bench and wider legal community,” according to the announcement.

Lawsuit funding has become a growing issue in the U.S.

In January, a California federal court mandated the automatic disclosure of third-party funding agreements in proposed class-action lawsuits, as reported by Ben Hancock of The Recorder.

Bentham recently launched a new $200 million litigation finance vehicle exclusively dedicated to funding U.S. cases, according to the announcement.

“Entry into the Texas legal marketplace is the rational next step in Bentham’s ongoing expansion, and we are looking forward to having a strong Houston presence,” said Charlie Gollow, Bentham’s U.S. chief executive.

“Houston is one of the biggest and busiest litigation venues and home to many of the country’s most successful law firms. It also benefits from an entrepreneurial Texas approach to business. We expect to see substantial commercial funding opportunities for area plaintiffs and law firms.”

Bentham IMF boosts a portfolio that has a total claim size value of $3.2 billion AUD.