We partner with leading law firms and their clients to provide financial solutions for commercial litigation needs. Our experienced team serves as a trusted financial partner for lawyers and corporate claimants who seek to share or mitigate litigation risk.
Experience. Capital. Trust.
You have law financing needs. We have law financing solutions.
Commercial litigation is expensive and time-consuming. Law firms and their clients need ways to finance cases creatively, reliably and efficiently. Parabellum is the industry’s most experienced and trusted legal finance capital partner.
While law firm contingency practices can be profitable, they are also capital intensive. Law firms must pay salaries, cover firm overhead, and often front the costs of extensive discovery, experts, travel expenses, and depositions – all against an uncertain return. Larger portfolios of cases lead to better results but the larger the portfolio, the greater the drain on a firm’s financial resources. Parabellum can work with law firms to enable them to scale their contingency practices reliably for better profitability.
Our litigation financing products enable corporations with strong claims to pursue cases that they might otherwise have left behind due to cost or capital constraints. We can help transform the traditional corporate cost-center of litigation into a revenue-generating center. We can unlock the value lying dormant in the contingent results of any affirmative litigation. And our investing is non-recourse; we only get paid if the client wins.
Parabellum works closely with law firms and their clients to fund expenses and attorney’s fees in contingency-based cases. Wherever possible, we prefer to structure our investment in ways that create risk alignments among us, the law firm and the client. We invest most typically in the early stages of cases, but we are able to make investments at any stage of a litigation.
We provide law firms with non-recourse loans collateralized by their portfolio of contingent commercial litigation cases. This non-recourse debt product offers much-needed liquidity to law firms but at lower rates.
Our innovative team draws on years of banking and legal experience to craft bespoke solutions for complex legal situations that can benefit from an investment in the upside, or protection from the downside, of a litigation. We are a creative, entrepreneurial organization and welcome the chance to explore solutions for lawyers, counsel or corporate claimants.
We work with law firms and their clients to cover the costs of third-party vendors and out-of-pocket expenses incurred during litigation.
During later stages of litigation (e.g., appeals) we can hedge or monetize the value of a claim.
Working closely with E-discovery vendors, we provide a proprietary product that helps manage the costs of E-discovery, a substantial litigation expense.
Among the first things our investment team did in 2006 when it began investing in commercial litigation was to commission an extensive review of the ethics guidelines relevant to the business. For us, this was the natural starting point, and it reflects our ongoing commitment to doing things in a highly ethical, principled way.
Since that time, we have continued to refine our approach, which is represented by a few straightforward and important principles. We live by these principles every day.
We work with partners of the highest integrity and alongside counsel whose skill and reputation makes them leaders in their field.
We prefer to structure our investments so that we share the same risks and rewards as our partners. We lose when our clients lose, and we only win when they win.
We only invest in matters with the highest degree of legal merit based on a detailed and selective underwriting process.
We continually invest resources to understand the ethical rules applicable to our investments and activity. All of our investments are carefully crafted to ensure rigorous compliance with these rules. For example, we never take control of litigation or settlement decisions. That's the domain of clients and their counsel.
All of our transactions are confidential and we are highly sensitive to considerations of legal privileges.
What types of business-to-business disputes do we invest in?
Parabellum invests in a wide-range of business-to-business disputes including
What are our investment criteria?
Cases that we invest in will have the following characteristics
Our investment team may consider matters that fall outside of these criteria under some circumstances. Please note that we will not consider personal injury or other non-commercial matters.
What does our investment process look like?
Before entering into any investment, our team engages in a rigorous underwriting and structuring process.
Non-Disclosure Agreement/Conflicts Clearance
Parabellum establishes a confidentiality agreement with the client and screens for business and relationship conflicts.
Parabellum conducts appropriate due diligence on the opportunity and the counterparty.
Parabellum assesses potential damages against merits and completes legal and financial due diligence.
Funding and associated agreements are negotiated and executed.
Investments are carefully monitored to ensure adherence to litigation budgets and to evaluate and manage any changes that could impact returns.
Parabellum receives a return only when a party's case settles or receives a favorable judgment.
Parabellum Capital has assembled a highly experienced team of principals with extensive backgrounds in law and finance. Our managing principals pioneered the business of commercial litigation finance in the United States when they started the Legal Risk Strategies and Finance business at investment bank Credit Suisse. The investment team has made investments ranging from $800,000 to $35 million. Not many firms can say that. We can, and we're proud of it.
Parabellum Capital draws upon the expertise and relationships developed by the investment team during more than 9 years of investing in commercial litigation. Due to our extensive experience and relationships, we can partner with law firms and their clients that have impressive records of success. Our sourcing, underwriting and structuring abilities are the result of hard-earned insights in this asset class. The investment team is expert at aligning the interests of various parties in a transaction.
Howard Shams co-founded Parabellum and serves as a Managing Principal.
Mr. Shams is a former Managing Director of Credit Suisse, the global investment bank. During his 15 year tenure at the bank, Mr. Shams was a senior manager within the bank’s Leveraged Finance Business Unit and a member of the Global Credit Products Operating Committee. He also served as Head of Special Situations, responsible for developing niche strategies and new accretive businesses for the group, especially to the extent focused on unusual or developing asset classes. In 2006, he began the Legal Risk Strategies & Finance business at Credit Suisse, which was the first institutional commercial litigation finance business of its kind, and which ultimately spun off the bank’s platform as Parabellum Capital.
Before joining the Bank, Mr. Shams practiced securities, bankruptcy and transactional law at the firms of Dewey Ballantine, Richards, Spears, Kibbe & Orbe, and Mandel & Esbin.
Mr. Shams graduated phi beta kappa, magna cum laude from Columbia College and received his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law.
What is Parabellum Capital?
Parabellum is a specialty finance firm dedicated to financing the business of law. Parabellum’s principals pioneered the business of investing in large commercial claims in the United States.
What is the best way to reach Parabellum Capital?
To reach us, please complete the “contact us” form at the bottom of this website or call (or email) one of our Principals directly. Their contact information is located by their biographies.
What do we do?
Parabellum makes significant investments of capital in situations where the value derives from a legal claim. Such investments may take many forms. We think creatively with law firms and their clients to structure appropriate investments suitable to their needs.
What types of disputes do we invest in?
We invest in a wide range of business-to-business disputes including antitrust, bankruptcy, contract, false claims act, intellectual property, international arbitration, non-class action securities, trade secrets, and other commercial claims.
What are our investment criteria?
Parabellum reviews each potential investment on a case-by-case basis. In general, our investments will have the following characteristics:
What sets Parabellum Capital apart from other litigation finance firms?
Reliability and Trust. Parabellum is best positioned to be your reliable, trusted litigation finance capital partner.
Experience. After almost a decade spent in the business of litigation finance, Parabellum has a wealth of experience to share with its clients. Our investment team has decades of experience in law and finance. We have established strong relationships with some of the world’s best law firms and their clients. Whatever the commercial litigation financing need, we are likely to have encountered and worked on similar investments before.
Expertise. Our investment team has made investments of various kinds and structures for lawyers or clients, ranging in value from several hundred thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars. We developed many of the products presently available in this market and are innovators of law-oriented financial solutions.
Ethics and Integrity. We are committed to offering products and services of the highest quality that comply with all ethical guidelines. We are further committed to acting with integrity and professionalism in all situations. We work hard to earn the trust of our clients and partners.
What types of cases will Parabellum Capital likely not fund?
Parabellum considers many factors including size of claim, budget, and potential business relationship conflicts. Generally, we will not fund:
How many investments does Parabellum Capital consider annually? Parabellum reviews hundreds of potential investments each year. However, due our selective underwriting and due diligence process, only a limited number of cases can be funded.
Does Parabellum Capital oversee or otherwise participate in litigation for a given investment?
No. We are strictly passive investors. Parabellum does not control counsel’s litigation strategy, which is maintained under the laws governing legal counsel’s ethical duties of loyalty and independence, in addition to champerty laws.
How is attorney-client privilege and work product impacted by litigation finance?
Parabellum passively invests in litigation. We do not obtain access to attorney-client privileged material, and we are careful not to risk waiver of work product privilege.
Who performs underwriting and due diligence on potential investments?
Parabellum’s investment team conducts its own underwriting and due diligence. We often seek advice from leading outside counsel or other specialist advisors with particular expertise in a matter.
Interested in learning more about Parabellum, litigation financing, or alternative fee arrangements? If so, the articles below may be helpful starting points.