As an attorney and entrepreneur, I’m always looking for ways to use my position for good. But the legal world and the world of finance continually put profits over people. The reason why I was drawn to crypto is because of the compassion and interconnectivity of the community. Their purpose is to spread the wealth and allow everyone to flourish and grow.
That’s why I was fascinated to learn the story of David Kay, who is also an attorney and entrepreneur. Even though his life is like a movie, he doesn’t fit the stereotype of the rich and powerful lawyer. He’s a family man who wants what’s best for the community. He lives in New York City with his wife and two kids, 7 and 10 years old.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, he worked for an editorial campaign, as a paralegal, went to law school, and graduated with honors. From there, he became a restructuring attorney, a restructuring banker, and then started the world’s first litigation finance fund. Today, he is the CIO at Liti Capital, a litigation finance company with tokenized equity.
In his spare time, David likes to give back to his community with projects like Myface, a non-profit that helps provide children with facial reconstruction. I sat down with him today to talk about his past successes and how they led him to the cryptocurrency market. We also discuss the huge responsibilities on him and his team, how he manages stress, and how the team copes with loss when millions of dollars are on the line.
We heard you are a pioneer in the field of litigation finance. How did you get into that field and how did you make it to the top of your game?
Litigation finance is the process of funding lawsuits for people who may be having a hard time or may not be able to afford them. It’s people with real disputes and real fights with these third parties, and not everyone can afford the millions of dollars it takes to fight these fights. In the end, the goal is not the judgment, it’s getting paid. That idea of getting money for things people did to wrong you and staying focused on that is the biggest driver of my success.
Litigation finance as a whole specializes in the little guy versus the huge entities, and sometimes these are entire countries. The last defendant I fought spent over fifty million dollars. The little guys just can’t stand up to that. What’s unique with our team is our expertise. In each case that we were in, we would tell people, “Hey, if you’re just looking for funding, look somewhere else.” What we excel in is picking the right people, picking the right lawyers, bringing in the right experts, talking to witnesses, settling disputes, and then enforcing the award and guiding people through what a good settlement is and if they’re being treated fairly or unfairly.
We are the quarterbacks of the litigation process. If you have an asset, you need a CEO, you need a president, a manager, and that’s what we do.
That’s an impressive workload. Do you have any tips or tricks for dealing with this amount of responsibility? Something you do every day to stay focused?
For sure. So for one, I take an hour to myself every day. It’s generally thirty or forty minutes of exercise, and then I stop what I’m doing, wherever I am at the moment, and I go for a walk. I put my phone in my pocket, allow my mind to relax, allow myself to let go, or to think on a higher level before I start working, and I do this twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
Another absolutely critical thing: coffee. Coffee and more coffee
To unwind, ninety percent of the time, we sit down as a family and have dinner. Every night, I sit down with my kids and wife, and we always have at least enough time to ask everyone one question, “what’s your favorite part of the day?” Sometimes we have fifteen minutes, sometimes an hour, but that’s what centers me on a daily basis.
We also live really close to a huge extended family and we always go to each other’s houses, we cook dinner, there’s kids running around, and I can honestly say that it’s that community, safety, love, that’s the most powerful force in my life.
This sounds like a successful, fulfilling life, so why now would you choose to enter a new industry? What does cryptocurrency have to offer that you don’t already have?
Yeah so look that’s pretty straightforward to me. What this industry has that I don’t have is the ability to do my same work–but for everyone. And I know I’m not saving children or anything, but I feel like me and my team are always working hard for others, the problem is that only the mega-wealthy can profit from that. The fact that we can now do what we do but for everyone, whether that’s allowing people to invest in a certain strategy like private equity or have a say in these big lawsuits, that’s what I want.
That’s the part that’s exciting for me. I don’t know that I would have gone back to litigation finance otherwise, it’s hard. The payoff is big but you work for it. There are easier options out there. But being able to do that in this way for everyone is huge.
I always say that if this isn’t what you do with your success, then you have the wrong measure of what success is.
With everything at stake here, money and real people’s lives, how do you build a capable, resilient team that won’t fold under the pressure?
Great question, and the answer is: carefully and over time. I’m lucky that there’s a deep bench of talent and experience in my field that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and get to know. The main thing we look for is compassion and hard work. Of course, you need to be intelligent enough to understand what’s going on and make the right connections, but we work incredibly hard for this and at the end of the day we’re working for our clients.
I always say that you aren’t a real investor until you’ve lost. And when you do lose, I want to see how you handle it, how you talk to a teary-eyed client and tell them you couldn’t get their money and see whether it knocks you down or refocuses you and gets you ready for the next one. Here, you’re not allowed to become a senior partner until you lose, so I hope to not have any more because I don’t want to lose, but you need that order to take this job seriously, and I need to see what you do in those moments so I know I can depend on you in the future.
You care about what you do and want to make a difference. What other changes do you hope to see in the world, and how are you using this new company to achieve those goals?
So that goes back to what I said before about investing. I want everyone to have the same opportunities that the one percent of one percent of investors have. To invest in litigation finance, you need to have millions of dollars of assets or make hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Those mega-wealthy people will still have the ability to invest with us, but they will be on the same level as the little guy when it comes to access and availability. There are very intelligent people everywhere capable of making these decisions and who deserve a hand in the profits.
And when it comes to the crypto community, I’m really excited to go be able to help make the community safer and more productive. We have already committed to using five to ten percent of our investments, not of the money raised, but of our entire fund, to gp after the cheats and the scammers that are stealing people’s money and getting away with it. We want people to feel safe to invest and participate because every time this happens, it will be years before that person who lost their money decides to invest in crypto again.
So hopefully, five, ten years in the future, the scammers will think twice about what they’re doing because we’re coming after you. Like I said before, my team and I have years of experience with lawsuits all over the world, we know what we’re doing and we want the community to know we have their backs.
That’s a noble goal, and the community certainly could use your help. The question is, can we help you? For those who may be interested, how might we get involved, and what would an ongoing relationship with your company look like?
Of course, we do have an incentive program for token holders. We offer bounties for relevant information in ongoing lawsuits, whether that’s something we’re working on or it’s something involving a scam coin. Little tips or clues that may not be super helpful or relevant normally could be extremely powerful in our hands and could decide the outcome of the case. If everyone is keeping an eye out, if you know something, now you have someone to call, someone with an interest in the community and the ethos of blockchain and how it connects people. The government isn’t much on our side, so we have to look out for each other.
Buying our token itself is a vote for the assets we look to buy. Look out for announcements for new cases because that’s how we crowdsource the funds we need to take on those new clients. You may hear about something that means a lot to you. That’s your chance to buy in and trust us to do what’s right and collect that award. And during that process, we will try to be as transparent as possible. We’re working on a platform that will allow the token holders to vote on some of the steps of our decision-making process.