Fulbrook occupies a special space in this industry, basically acting as an investment advisory firm in the industry. It represents claimants who need assistance in: evaluating their claims or portfolios of claims; preparing and/or improving the claims for investment, and prosecution; and/or sourcing capital – where Fulbrook identifies and attracts potential investors for the claimant and its claim, from (a) the institutional dedicated financing providers, as well as (b) from individual investors interested in committing only a portion of their capital into Dispute Finance (e.g., a family office, pension fund, hedge fund, or a private equity entity).
It represents investors in similar activities, but also in attracting and vetting claims, and assisting to determine if the claims or portfolio of claims are fund worthy, and in overseeing prosecution.
If needed and acceptable within a jurisdiction’s rules, Fulbrook will assist in buying, selling, or otherwise trading the claim or the claimant itself.
Fulbrook has recently also entered a new specialty that it has designed: evaluating claims and defenses for purposes of trying to resolve disputes. This is a space in need of help, Fulbrook believes, because others, like lawyers and law firms, cannot or will not act in the area. This specialty can assist claimants and/or defendants, as well as courts, arbitrators, mediators, and others, in that it provides an independent objective view of the claims and defenses and tries with that to encourage settlement.
Fulbrook emphasizes certain areas, particularly: patents and other IP; international litigation and arbitration; insolvency, and other serious financial distress situations; mediation and in general high stake disputes. In special circumstances, it will also work on other meritorious claims, such as those involving oil and gas, antitrust, securities fraud and other fraud, insurance and reinsurance, whistleblowers, and serious breach of contract claims.
Overall, Fulbrook emphasizes teaching about the industry and how it works, and might be improved. Learning about the industry, with accurate objective information, is at the center of all that Fulbrook does.
In a Report by two think tanks that discussed Dispute Finance, Fulbrook was identified along with four other entities, as among the “prominent third-party funders” in the industry worldwide. Additionally, Fulbrook has been recognized for being the leader in various aspects of the Dispute Finance industry in the world, in the U.S., in N.Y., and in various other venues, by over 50 polls and citations since its inception of operations in 2013. The most recent award came from the National Law Journal, a respected publication in the U.S., which ranked Fulbrook second in the country (behind Burford, founded in 2009, which Mr. Seidel co-founded and chaired, and is quite a bit older than Fulbrook).
Selvyn Seidel In 2007, and before Fulbrook or Burford, Mr. Seidel founded and chaired Burford Advisors, an expert advisor in Dispute Finance. The entity was similar in operation to Fulbrook. As noted above, he then (in October of 2009) and chaired Burford Group Ltd., the investment manager for Burford Capital, LLC. Burford Capital was taken public on the U.K. Aim market of the London Exchange. Burford is now the largest — with about $2.3 billion under management — and most respected institutional financing providers in the industry in the world.
Mr. Seidel is recognized in the industry as a pioneering voice. He was described in the report referred to above as “probably the frontrunner in the industry.” He is oftendescribed as a leader or pioneer, or the leader or pioneer, in the industry.
Before Burford and Fulbrook, Mr. Seidel practiced as a litigation attorney for over 40 years in complex litigations and arbitrations, specializing in international disputes. In 1985, he co-founded the New York office of Latham & Watkins (now the largest among over 40 offices), a premier international law firm (which was recently recognized as the most profitable law firm in the world). Until December 31, 2006 and for almost 25 years, he was a senior litigation partner at Latham and was, at different times, the Chairman of the firm’s International Practice; the founder and Chairman of Latham’s International Litigation and Arbitration practice; and the Chairman of its New York Litigation practice.
Mr. Seidel has been and is an active educator. He was for ten years an Adjunct Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law, teaching courses related to litigation and arbitration. Since 1980, he has been an Alumnus Lecturer at Linacre College, Oxford University. He has Chaired the Advisory Board of Oxford Law Alumni of America.He is the past chairman of the Advisory Board of the Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration Law of Columbia University Law School. He lectures on Dispute Finance and participates, globally, in conferences and presentations at various law schools in the U.S. and UK(including Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, Oxford Law, New York University School of Law, and the University of Iowa Law School), and at various Institutes (such as the RAND Institute of Civil Justice, and at LEXIS NEXIS programs on litigation costing and funding).
He has authored many articles and papers in the industry, including a Primer on Dispute Investing in Commercial Claims (April 2016), and a Supplement to the Primer (April 2017).
He has a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago, a J.D. with honors from the Berkeley School of law (University of California), and a Diploma of Law from the University of Oxford, England.
Louis G. Sampanis is Chief Financial Officer, and member of the Advisory Board of Fulbrook Capital Management. In addition to responsibility for the firm’s financial planning and capital raising, he is responsible for overseeing development and administration of the firm’s London-based European operations. As an Advisory Board member, Lou assists in the firm’s strategy, operations, and expansion. He joined Fulbrook in 2016.
Earlier in his career, Lou held positions with Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Scotia Capital. He established and built debt private placement businesses in London and New York, and worked with corporate issuers, institutional investors and leading law firms to price, structure, document and close long-term debt financings totaling approximately $4 billion. He also conducted due diligence, managed preparation of offering materials, conducted marketing roadshows, negotiated documentation, led investors’ due diligence meetings, and managed transaction closings. At Deutsche Bank in London he built and managed a team of product specialists and successfully expanded the firm’s debt private placements business, helping attain a top-five league table ranking in the global debt private placements market.
Lou has also been with Agincourt Ltd, a Bermuda-based broker-dealer with operations in the US. Here, he was engaged in hedge fund marketing, assisted early and late stage public companies with accessing private equity capital, and advised purchasers on the use of proprietary hybrid securities to complete asset dispositions and improve balance sheet composition.
In recent years, Lou established and maintained relationships with leading global investment banks based in London in order to help execute the securities purchasing strategy of Marcuard Heritage AG, a Zurich-based wealth management firm.
Following 20 years of finance and investment banking experience in the global debt capital markets, Lou began an involvement in the litigation finance industry in 2011 through evaluation and direct investment in a leading funding firm in the London market. This led to his further work in litigation finance relating to sourcing investment capital, advising claimants, and assessing and investing directly in European legal cases.
Lou earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA degree at The Wharton School.
Leonard Rodney joined Fulbrook shortly after its formation as a claims analyst, evaluating the merits of claims presented for potential funding. He now serves as the Office Managing Partner of the New York Office, overseeing and coordinating operations in New York, and elsewhere in the U.S., London, Europe, and the Far East. On a selective basis, he continues to evaluate and analyze commercial claims.
Len has been the litigation partner and office manager in two boutique law firms. He has forty years of experience in handling commercial litigations, trials and appeals in New York State and Federal Courts. His litigation experience includes activity in contract and labor disputes, corporate dissolutions, estate and bankruptcy litigation, acquiring, building, developing, financing and selling real estate projects, construction and other business issues. In addition, he has participated in numerous arbitrations and mediations.
Len received his B.S./B.A. from Boston University in 1969 and his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1973.
Stefan Vogenauer is a Fulbrook Expert who focuses on Comparative Law and transnational private law in International Disputes. He is also a Fulbrook Advisory Board member.
Currently, he is Chair of Max Planck Law, the German-wide network of eleven Max Planck Institutes with an emphasis on legal studies ranging from private international law to competition law, IP, international dispute resolution and tax.
Previously, from 2003-15, Professor Vogenauer was the Linklaters Professor of Comparative Law at the University of Oxford. At Oxford Law, he also served as Director of the Institute of European and Comparative Law.
He has taught, among other subjects, Comparative Contract Law, International Commercial Arbitration, Global Commercial Contract Law, Transnational Commercial Law, The Common Law for Civil Lawyers and Roman Law. He has taught and lectured widely in many European countries and has held Visiting Professorships at NYU Law School, the University of Melbourne, the University of Paris 2, and National Law University Delhi.
He is the editor of the Commentary on the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (PICC) (2nd ed. Oxford University Press 2015) which is the standard reference work in the field. He is also a co-author of the leading student textbook in comparative contract law, the Ius Commune Casebook for the Common Law of Europe: Cases, Materials and Text on Contract Law (2nd ed. Hart Publishing 2010).
Further recent publications include: English and European Perspectives on Contract and Commercial Law (Hart Publishing 2014), The Common European Sales Law in Context: Interactions with English and German Law (Oxford University Press 2013), Content and Meaning of National Law in the Context of Transnational Law (Sellier European Law Publishers 2009), and, as co-author with Volker Triebel and others, a German language introduction to English commercial law, Englisches Handels- und Wirtschaftsrecht (Verlag Recht und Wirtschaft 2011).
In 2012, Professor Vogenauer received a Humboldt Award “in recognition of his lifetime achievements in research”. His other awards include the Max Weber Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities for his comparative and historical analysis of the interpretation of statutes in English, French, German and EU law, ‘Die Auslegung von Gesetzen in England und auf dem Kontinent’; the 2002 Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society; and the 2008 Prize of the German Legal History Conference.
He has been involved in various commercial arbitrations and expert determinations. He gave expert evidence, or was an expert advisor to, the European Parliament (Committee of Inquiry into the collapse of the Equitable Life Assurance Society; Committee on Legal Affairs, on an Optional Instrument for EU Sales Law); the UK Ministry of Justice (on factors influencing international litigants’ decisions to bring commercial claims to the London based courts; on the European Commission’s proposal for a Common European Sales Law); the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission (Issues Paper Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts); the UK House of Lords Select Committee European Affairs (Report on the Draft Common Frame of Reference); and the Review of the costs of civil litigation on behalf of the Master of the Rolls, conducted by Lord Justice Rupert Jackson.
He received his legal education in Germany (Kiel, First State Exam 1994), France (Paris 2), England (University of Oxford, MJur 1995, Clifford Chance and Herbert Hart Prizes) and Regensburg where he qualified as a German attorney (‘Rechtsanwalt’).
Richard Samuel is a barrister in the UK specialising in the arbitration and litigation of commercial contracts and corporate disputes, particularly those relating to the financial services sector or involving the complication of insolvency. Many of the disputes in which he advises and acts as advocate are international. Richard practices from 3 Hare Court Chambers in London and has enjoyed the privilege from which an advocate developing his practice at the English common law Bar benefits: years spent in the criminal or civil courts every day of the week arguing cases.
After a couple of years defending youth offenders in criminal courts, he moved his practice into employment law, fighting tough cases of discrimination and whistleblowing for both claimant and respondent. As the employees became more senior, they had share options and earn outs, or their companies were bought by venture capitalists; his practice therefore developed in the direction of M&A disputes.
The larger acquisitions contained international arbitration clauses and for the last decade of the two he has spent at the Bar this has been a key part of his practice. 3 Hare Court is the leading set of chambers handling appeals to the Privy Council in London – the final appellate court for many Commonwealth countries. The advocates there are of an internationally renowned stature and are lawyers to match. Education in the profession has become a significant interest of Richard’s.
He is a top-graded advocacy trainer for the Middle Temple, one of the four Inns of Court in London. He runs the Middle Temple’s courses for young barristers in Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park, the Gardens of Windsor Castle, the Queen’s residence outside London. He also trains barristers for the Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA), the supra-Inn body created for development and dissemination of best practice in advocacy. He has also trained at Keble College in Oxford for the South Eastern Circuit’s week-long Advanced International Advocacy programme.
Richard has also taken this advocacy training from its origins in common law litigation to the international arbitration market. In 2012, together with Derek Wood QC CBE, the Chairman of ICCA, he co-founded the International Advocacy Academy (IAA), a non-profit which specialises in training advocacy and evidence-taking in cross-cultural situations, especially across the common law-civil code divide.
IAA provides these academies, workshops and training events around the world in association with non-profit lawyers’ organisations such as AIJA, the International Association of Young Layers, and with international arbitral institutions, including the German, Vienna, Stockholm and Milan chambers. Richard’s work in education in the profession has drawn him into public policy debates around dispute resolution in financial markets. He has written extensively in the Financial Times, the Capital Markets Law Journal (Oxford University Press) and The Lawyer about the need for specialist dispute resolution platforms for small businesses with disputes against financial institutions from which they have bought complex financial products.
His work caused an Inquiry to be launched in the British Houses of Parliament in 2017. He spoke in the House at the launch of the Inquiry and has also given evidence there before it. In 2017 Richard joined Fulbrook Capital Management LLC, a dispute funder, as a Barrister Expert to advise the firm on investing in disputes under English law around the world.
Aaron Schildhaus is a Fulbrook Expert on international law. His international practice and experience is extensive, involving arbitration, dispute resolution and transactions.
He has been a member of the ABA’s International Arbitration Committee for 20 years, has organized programs on international arbitration and has been a speaker and panelist on this and many other subjects.
Mr. Schildhaus was Chair of the Section of International Law of the American Bar Association (ABA) in 2008-2009, and has been a member of its Council since 2000. He is a Fellow of the ABA. He has been a senior advisor to the ABA’s Section of International Law’s International Anti- Corruption Committee and its India Committee for the past eight years, has been Liaison to the Council of the Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), which is the umbrella organization of all European bars, for ten years, and has been Liaison to the Israel Bar Association for the past seven years.
He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Illinois Bar. He has worked as a lawyer in large and small law firms in the U.S. and abroad, working in Paris for ten years, maintaining law offices in Paris, Brussels, Lisbon, Rome and Washington, DC for an additional 8 years, and working in Argentina for four years. He was in-house counsel for PepsiCo, Inc..
On the business and finance side, he has been Managing Director of the Argentine subsidiary of a former division of a Fortune 100 company. He has worked closely with the World Bank; has worked on transactions with the Export-Import Bank; and with various U.S. government agencies on cases requiring export clearances from these government agencies on sensitive, technical matters.
Overall globally, Mr. Schildhaus has worked throughout North America and Latin America, with experience in all the countries in the region, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama and Peru, as well as countries in Western Europe, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Switzerland, the UK, and throughout the EU and Eastern Europe, plus countries in the far and east such as China, Hong Kong, India, and in Israel, Russia, and throughout Africa.
He has authored books and published articles in legal publications, including “The International Lawyer” and “International Law News. He has also been a speaker at conferences, webinars, and programs, including those on international arbitration and dispute resolution.
Mr. Schildhaus has received awards for his contributions to women in international law, and for his work in human rights and the rule of law, from U.S. and foreign bar associations (including the American Bar Association, the Paris Bar, the Italian Bar, the Inter-American Bar Association, the Turkish Bar, the Israel Bar, the Korean Bar, the Union Internationale des Avocats, the Bar Association of India, and the Society of Indian Law Firms).
He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Vermont and a Juris Doctor from the American University Washington College of Law.