IMF Bentham, Australia's largest litigation funder, is opening an office in Singapore after hiring Tom Glasgow, a former litigation associate at Allen & Overy.

Glasgow will take on the role of Asian investment manager at the office, which is expected to launch in April.

IMF Bentham’s Singapore office will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the IMF Group and incorporated in Singapore. It will focus in the first instance on funding arbitration and insolvency claims in Hong Kong and Singapore. 

The announcement comes soon after Singapore abolished the torts of maintenance and champerty, allowing the use of third-party funding in international arbitration.

Similar legislation is being proposed in Hong Kong, where it is also possible to fund certain court matters such as insolvency and "access to justice" claims with the permission of the court. 

These moves show that both Hong Kong and Singapore are actively embracing third-party funding in areas such as arbitration to increase their competitiveness as leading centres for international dispute resolution. “There is potential for long-term growth in these markets,” said Glasgow.