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Stockholm: Several Perspectives on Third Party Financing

On October 23, SCC legal counsel Anja Ipp spoke at a seminar on third party financing of disputes organized by the Swedish Arbitration Association and the Swedish Women in Arbitration Network.

Dispute finance has been on a steady rise for the past few years, but is still relatively new in the Swedish context. At the seminar, Christine Deniger from Burford Capital shared with the Swedish audience her views on the current state of third party financing, and explained how funders can offer companies solutions that take the cost of disputes off the balance sheet. She talked about Burford’s process for evaluating disputes for potential financing, and emphasized that Burford, once it has stepped in as a funder, exercises no control over the parties or their counsel. Finally, Ms Deniger presented Burford’s initiative to help close the gender gap in law by instituting a fund dedicated to financing disputes led by women.

Mikael Wahlgren, former general counsel of several large Swedish companies, spoke from the claim holder’s perspective about the benefits and risks of bringing in an external funder, while Johan Sidklev, partner and head of Dispute Resolution practice at Roschier law firm, spoke from the perspective of counsel. Mr Sidklev also discussed the applicable legal and regulatory framework, noting that dispute financing is largely unregulated in Sweden.  

SCC legal counsel Anja Ipp discussed how the increasing involvement of external funders and other third parties in disputes may give rise to undiscovered conflicts of interest. She emphasized that parties in an arbitration should consider disclosing the identity of any third parties with an interest in an outcome of the dispute, to ensure the neutrality of the arbitrators and the integrity of the arbitral proceedings. A policy encouraging such disclosure in SCC arbitrations was adopted by the SCC board in September 2019.

The discussion was moderated by Ginta Ahrel, partner at Westerberg & Partners law firm. The event was cosponsored by organized by the Swedish Arbitration Association and the Swedish Women in Arbitration Network.   

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