The economic crisis that started to engulf Spain in 2007, which the country has been shaking off little by little, has spurred players in the restructuring market to step out of their comfort zone and go down lesser-trodden paths in Spain. This means players are exploring new alternative sources of funding to conventional bank lending; similarly, investors, encouraged by experiences in other markets, are incessantly researching any mechanisms that will enable them to move their capital in their constant search for greater returns. Litigation funding has been moving towards the point where the interests of all of these appear to converge.
June 23, 2016 is a date that will go down in history for the UK as the day British citizens voted for a different future separate from the rest of the EU Member States. If Brexit goes ahead, it will mean that the treaties, regulations and directives that the European bodies have been approving since the 1950s will no longer apply to the UK. Without a doubt, one of the most notable aspects of Brexit is its impact on the markets and, naturally, the legal market.
Although it has been a month since the Eurosceptics triumphed, with 51.9% of the vote, over the 48.1% of Brits who elected to remain part of the EU, the real effects of Brexit will take more than two years to materialize.
One of the mechanisms that banking institutions have been using to deleverage in recent years is the sale of portfolios of non-performing loans (“NPLs”). A recent analysis estimated the principal of the loans transferred in this type of process at €21,900 million (2014) and €20,000 million (2015) in Spain alone. Estimates for 2016 in Europe made by some experts amount to €80,000 million. The purchase of NPL portfolios from banking institutions in Spain, mainly by international investment funds, and the subsequent claiming of the loans by the investor through the Spanish courts, is giving rise in some cases to situations that deviate from the normal and habitual treatment and acceptance of transfers of NPLs sold to funds and their subsequent foreclosure.
It is not easy to determine the potential effects of Brexit since it is not even clear, at the present time, whether it will finally go ahead. Moreover, if it does, it will not be imminent and will depend on the agreement reached with the EU.