It was very interesting to read a recent article in the Wall Street Journal all about plaintiff lawyers in America advertising for the latest in personal injury cases. Apparently, more than $160 million was spent on some 800,000 mass litigation adverts during 2023.
The most common adverts during the last decade have been for asbestos or mesothelioma claims. There have also been a lot of claims for the military members who were stationed at a camp that had contaminated water that led to miscarriages, Parkinson’s disease as well as cancer. Those are the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination cases. In addition to that, there have been adverts for claims relating to the use of talcum powder, Xarelto, Glyphosate and hernia meshes.
The article also detailed the fact that a lot of other companies have invested in the litigation. Some private equity firms or hedge funds provide loans to law firms for third party litigation funding.
In the USA, legal firms take between 30% and 40% of the final settlement or verdict. In California, for example, it is common to take 30% if a matter is settled without going to court and the fee is 40% if the matter does go to court. That is obviously far more lucrative than the 25% including VAT cap in South Africa.