San Francisco-based litigation funder Legalist has poached a former DLA Piper and Womble Bond Dickinson litigator from a competitor in North Carolina, the startup announced Thursday.
Megan Baer, most recently the general counsel of litigation funder Alliance Legal Solutions, has joined Legalist's underwriting team as investment counsel, the company announced. Baer is Legalist's first hire directly from another litigation funder since the company was founded by two Harvard dropouts in 2016.
"I'm very excited to be joining Legalist and am excited about the company's continued potential for growth," Baer said in a statement to Law360 Pulse. "As I've been engaged with the litigation finance industry, I've paid close attention to Legalist because the blend of technology and legal expertise, along with a middle-market focus, really makes it unique within the industry."
Baer began her legal practice at DLA Piper in 2004 focusing on commercial litigation before joining Womble Carlyle — now Womble Bond Dickinson — as a business litigation partner in 2008. She started in the burgeoning field of litigation financing at Alliance Legal Solutions in North Carolina in 2018.
"Megan's extensive experience both as a commercial litigator and general counsel of another litigation funder makes her the perfect addition to our underwriting team," Legalist CEO and co-founder Eva Shang said in a statement. "Legalist's unique combination of technology and human expertise is what allows us to underwrite David vs. Goliath cases quickly and efficiently."
She will join former Fox Rothschild LLP partner and Legalist general counsel Curtis Smolar and other staffers in deploying the litigation finance company's $100 million second fund.
Legalist uses algorithms to scour court records to find and help underwrite investments, with a focus on midmarket cases that need less than $1 million in financing. The company said it has more than 130 cases under investment as of last month and manages nearly $200 million in assets.
The company also recently hired Hunter Morales as chief of staff from AngelList, a platform for startups, and Darci Matovich, Matt Muniz, Heather Davey and Zachary Campbell as investment managers. In September, Legalist announced that Jeremy D. Fogel, a former federal judge for the Northern District of California who retired from the bench in 2018, would serve on the company's advisory board.
--Editing by Aaron Pelc.
Updated: This story has been updated to include a comment from Baer.