Brazil: Financiamento de litígios comerciais pode ganhar força no Brasil

Last Updated: 18 August 2016
Article by Rafael Zabaglia

O financiamento profissional de litígios (alternative legal financing ou third-party litigation funding) é ainda incipiente no Brasil, mas já usual em países como Inglaterra, Austrália, EUA e Alemanha. Pode ser uma ferramenta útil para viabilização do acesso ao Judiciário e à arbitragem.

A ideia é simples. Um terceiro cobre os desembolsos de quem é parte num litígio, recebendo em contrapartida direito a parte do proveito econômico em caso de desfecho favorável. Não se trata de empréstimo, mas de investimento, já que o financiador assume o risco de não ter retorno em caso de insucesso do financiado no litígio.

Para os investidores e o financiador, o ambiente ideal para o financiamento é aquele em que as variáveis em jogo para o desfecho do litígio são razoavelmente previsíveis, há segurança de que a sentença será exequível e a execução do crédito tende a ser célere.

Para o financiado, a operação faz sentido quando for caro litigar. Ele pode mitigar ou repartir os riscos econômicos envolvidos, transferindo-os ao financiador e preservando, assim, sua própria liquidez.

Nos EUA, a prática foi inicialmente adotada no contexto de ações de indenização movidas por pessoas físicas com pouco capital, como as relacionadas a erros médicos ou a acidentes com veículos. Hoje, os fundos de investimento buscam oportunidades para financiar disputas comerciais complexas e de valor vultoso. Além disso, cada vez mais empresas americanas se valem do mecanismo como estratégia de alocação de recursos: escolhem se financiar não necessariamente por não ter capital suficiente, e sim porque é interessante liberá-lo para outras atividades.

O financiamento profissional de litígios é interessante também no Brasil, tanto para investidores que queiram diversificar seus ativos quanto para empresas ou indivíduos que precisem ou queiram limitar sua exposição a risco e seus gastos com o orçamento de contencioso. Ele ganha atenção crescente no cenário de crise, que leva empresas a redobrar esforços para contenção de custos.

O ambiente institucional e jurídico brasileiro dá proteção adequada ao investidor. O modelo prevalente nos EUA, com empresas financiadoras captando recursos do mercado investidor por meio de fundos, pode ser replicado por aqui sob a forma de fundo de investimento em direitos creditórios não-padronizados — sujeito à Lei 6.385/76, às instruções 356, 444 e 489 da Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM) e à regulamentação correlata, inclusive no que se refere aos deveres de natureza fiduciária da empresa financiadora perante os cotistas do fundo e à submissão à fiscalização da CVM. É essa a estrutura preferida pelos financiadores profissionais estabelecidos no Brasil.

Além disso, num país em que a relativização do teor dos contratos para se "proteger" uma parte nem sempre é exceção (especialmente quando consumidores estão envolvidos), o financiamento dos litígios comerciais mais vultosos oferece menos riscos ao investidor. O financiado será tipicamente pessoa experiente nos negócios, o que reduz suas chances de revisar ou rescindir o financiamento sob a alegação de tê-lo contratado em condições desfavoráveis por inexperiência ou necessidade urgente, ou de que se trataria de contrato de empréstimo disfarçado e, por conseguinte, sujeito à proibição de práticas usurárias.

O uso do produto em arbitragens já começa a se popularizar. Elas são consideradas demandas mais rápidas e efetivas que processos judiciais (as partes e o árbitro ou tribunal arbitral estabelecem calendário para a prática dos atos até a sentença, a sentença é dada por especialistas, não cabem recursos e as hipóteses de anulação no Judiciário são poucas). E são caras — os valores pagos aos árbitros e à câmara não raro chegam a centenas de milhares de reais, é comum a produção de múltiplos pareceres jurídicos e técnicos e as despesas com deslocamento e hospedagem podem ser vultosas.

O novo Código de Processo Civil pode impulsionar o uso do produto também em litígios judiciais, que até agora não foram foco de atenção do mercado. A simplificação do sistema de recursos, a possibilidade de as partes acordarem mudanças no procedimento e calendário para prática dos atos processuais, a valorização dos precedentes judiciais, todas são medidas voltadas à redução do tempo médio de tramitação dos processos e ao aumento da previsibilidade das decisões. Além disso, a economia do processo mudou, sendo exemplo o novo regramento sobre honorários sucumbenciais, que tende a aumentá-los; os riscos econômicos do litígio são, portanto, maiores agora.

O uso crescente do financiamento profissional de litígios pode criar desafios de natureza regulatória e ética, ante a possibilidade de influência indevida do financiador num litígio do qual não é formalmente parte. O risco de configuração de conflitos de interesses já vem sendo objeto de debate pontual em arbitragens, e é oportuno ampliar a discussão para o âmbito judicial antes que o mercado se consolide, de modo que se possa explorar ao máximo o potencial latente do financiamento como ferramenta de facilitação do acesso tanto ao Judiciário quanto à arbitragem.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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