Retired Latham Partner Finds New Home in Litigation Finance

Photo by Pictures of Money (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

G. Andrew “Andy” Lundberg, newley retired from a 35-year career at Latham & Watkins, has put his lawyer hat back on, now as an advisor at litigation finance heavyweight Burford Capital.

Lundberg has joined Burford as a managing director and member of its investment committee responsible for deciding which cases receive funding. He previously led Latham’s insurance practice group out of Los Angeles, where he primarily represented policyholders in insurance matters.

“There’s an awful lot of insurance money that’s floating just behind the curtain in these cases,” Lundberg told Bloomberg Law. “Knowing which cases are financed by the defense side or which cases are going to be settled with insurance money, gives me value in assessing these investments.”

Although he retired from Latham in the spring, Lundberg said he joined Burford for the chance to work with several of his Latham mentors, Steven Wilson, vice chairman of Burford, and Peter Benzian and Ernie Getto, who also serve on the investment committee.

Like Lundberg, all three found post-retirement jobs in the field of litigation finance, making the industry a potential new late-career avenue for big law attorneys.

“It’s another way for very experienced lawyers who don’t want to just throw their knowledge base in the dumpster on their way out the door to keep exploiting that learning curve and create some value, besides becoming a mediator or becoming an arbitrator or a regular on the board of directors scene,” Lundberg said.

Burford Capital, which claims to be the world’s largest publicly traded litigation finance firm, recently announced that it has $3.3 billion invested in and available for investment in legal finance.

Financiers have come under fire from the U.S. Chamber and Commerce and some defense counsel, who argue the practice of litigation finance lacks transparency and increases the duration of and expenses associated with court cases. Lundberg said he believes there are “people of good faith” on both sides of the issue, but that ultimately, he doesn’t find a problem with litigation finance.

“What I find a little troubling is the moralistic sorts of arguments that are made about it,” he said. “I think it’s ultimately an issue of public policy and not one of ethics. I think litigation financing is very consistent with consistent American economic and public policy.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft in New York at srussellkraft@gmail.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com