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£878M Opt-Out Claim Brought Against Royal Mail, Backed by £10M in Funding 

By Harry Moran |

A new claim has been brought against International Distribution Services, the owner of Royal Mail, over allegations that it ‘prevented competition for bulk mail delivery services’ which in turn led to end-customers being overcharged for these services. The opt-out claim is being brought on behalf of any customers who purchased bulk mail services since January 2024, with an estimated 290,000 potential class members seeking up to £878 million in compensation for these overcharges.

An article in the Financial Times reveals that the application to bring collective proceedings was filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) on Thursday, with the action being led by the Proposed Class Representative, Robin Aaronson and supported by law firm Lewis Silkin. According to the Bulk Mail Claim website, it has secured £10 million in funding from ‘a specialist litigation funder to bring the claim’ and has ‘put in after the event (ATE) insurance to cover its liability to pay Royal Mail’s costs if the claim is unsuccessful.’

In a press release announcing the filing of the claim, Robin Aaronson said:

“Where there has been an abuse of dominant position, as has occurred in this case, it is important that those suffering loss are able to obtain redress. A collective claim is the only fair and efficient form of redress in this case, given that there are hundreds of thousands of affected customers and it would be commercially unviable for them to bring individual proceedings.”

Andrew Wanambwa, Partner in the Dispute Resolution team at Lewis Silkin, also provided the following comment:

“Royal Mail abused its dominant position, resulting in hundreds of thousands of bulk mail customers being overcharged. The purpose of this claim is to hold Royal Mail accountable for its actions and secure compensation for affected customers.”

Responding to the announcement of the filing, Royal Mail confirmed that it had received the application and said, “We consider [the claim] to be without merit and we will defend it robustly.” The draft Collective Proceedings Order can be read here.

Rockhopper Exploration Announces Receipt of Tranche 1 Funds for the Ombrina Mare Monetisation Transaction

By Harry Moran |

Rockhopper Exploration plc is pleased to provide the following update in relation to the monetisation of its Ombrina Mare Arbitration Award (the "Transaction") announced on 20 December 2023.

Having satisfied all precedent conditions to the Transaction as announced on 17 June 2024, the Company confirms that the Tranche 1 payment has been received.

Rockhopper has received €19 million of the €45 million Tranche 1 payment. As previously disclosed, Rockhopper entered into a litigation funding agreement in 2017 under which all costs relating to the Arbitration from commencement to the rendering of the Award were paid on its behalf by a separate specialist arbitration funder (the "Original Arbitration Funder"). That agreement entitles the Original Arbitration Funder to a proportion of any proceeds from the Award or any monetisation of the Award. The balance of €26 million has gone to Original Arbitration Funder in order to fully discharge the Company of all of its liabilities under the agreement with the Original Arbitration Funder. Tranches 2 and 3 of the Award remain payable to Rockhopper upon a successful annulment outcome.

As previously disclosed, success fees of approximately €4 million are owed to Rockhopper's legal representatives if Rockhopper win the claim, meaning liability is established and Italy is required to pay more than a nominal sum in damages (either by way of award or settlement in an amount equal to or more than €25 million).

Following receipt of the Tranche 1 payment, Rockhopper's cash balance is approximately $27 million.

Please refer to the Company's announcement on 20 December 2023 for further details on the Ombrina Mare Arbitration Award. Capitalised terms shall have the same meaning as in the 20 December 2023 announcement.

Samuel Moody, CEO, commented:

"We are delighted to have received the Tranche 1 payment under the Ombrina Mare monetisation agreement.  This cash gives us the strongest balance sheet we have had for a number of years, and we remain confident in the merits of our legal case as we await the decision of the Ad Hoc Panel on the annulment request from the Italian Republic."

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Industry Leaders React to House Committee Hearing on Funding Disclosure

By Harry Moran |

As LFJ covered earlier this week, a recent hearing in the US House Judiciary Committee reignited arguments around the appropriate level of disclosure required when third-party funders are involved in patent lawsuits. Whilst the hearing largely highlighted the arguments in favour of more stringent disclosure requirements, legal professionals and funders are now offering their own differing perspectives on these contentious issues.

An article in IAM looks at last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, focusing on the testimonies from witnesses called before the committee and examining the counter-arguments from industry professionals who are opposed to the introduction of excessively broad disclosure rules for litigation funders. As the article explains, the main point of contention around this issue relates to the level of disclosure required, with most third-party funding participants being open to the disclosure of a funder’s identity, but opposed to the disclosure of the financial details of funding agreements.

Erick Robinson, attorney at Spencer Fane, told IAM that mandating disclosure of the particulars of any funding agreement would be incredibly damaging for plaintiffs in patent infringement lawsuits. Robinson argued well-resourced defendants would “run modeling and be able to reverse engineer the budget based on their knowledge of funding agreements”, which would lead to these defendants dragging out the lawsuit to deplete the funder’s budget. Robinson also questioned the justification for providing defendants with this level of detail, claiming that “there's no legitimate reason any defendant should ever get strategic financial information.”

Anup Misra, managing director at Curiam Capital, concurred with Robinson’s arguments and acknowledged that whilst they would be open to allowing a judge to review the funding agreement, “we just wouldn’t want the economics of a funding agreement to be sent to the defence counsel.” Misra went on to question the idea that third-party funding introduces ‘unknown unknowns’ to the court, as it was described by one witness at the hearing. Misra argued that it should be left to the judge in any given case to decide if they require more information around the involvement of funders, suggesting that “if something were to happen during pending litigation, I'm sure those judges would then determine whether they wanted to see a funding agreement.”

Latest Burford Quarterly Explores How Business and Economic Trends are Impacting Commercial Disputes Across Industries

By Harry Moran |

Burford Capital, the leading global finance and asset management firm focused on law, today releases its latest Burford Quarterly, a journal of legal finance that explores the top trends at the nexus of law and finance.

Articles in the Burford Quarterly 3 2024 include:

  • The business and legal trends shaping healthcare

The US healthcare industry is one of the country's largest. Business factors from consolidation to rising costs to lingering Covid-19 impacts are contributing to increases in major disputes, which are in turn driving shifts in how healthcare businesses pursue and finance recoveries.

  • Expert insights: Construction disputes roundtable

Burford moderates a roundtable of construction dispute experts as they discuss megaprojects, AI and the challenges of accurately forecasting and managing construction disputes.

  • The European perspective: Assessing the impact of the Unified Patent Court

A year after its launch, patent experts weigh in on the new UPC pan-European patent litigation system impacting 17 member nations, more than 300 million people and, increasingly, businesses and law firms pursuing corporate IP monetization, including expectations of increasing use and acceptance of the UPC.

  • Judges weigh in on financial disclosure

Judges at a recent legal finance industry conference explained why mandatory disclosure of legal finance is unnecessary and would hinder the efficiency of businesses pursuing their claims.

David Perla, Co-COO of Burford Capital, said: "Our latest Burford Quarterly takes an in-depth look at how economic factors and business trends are contributing to impacts on companies across industries. Of particular note is a close analysis of the US healthcare sector, where increasing consolidation and rising costs is causing more and larger disputes. We also talk to industry experts on topics including the rise in construction sector disputes and the impact of the EU's Unified Patent Court, which for the last year has enabled businesses to enforce their rights across all 17 member nations much more effectively, leading to a big rise in interest in financing IP litigation in Europe."

About Burford Capital

Burford Capital is the leading global finance and asset management firm focused on law. Its businesses include litigation finance and risk management, asset recovery and a wide range of legal finance and advisory activities. Burford is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUR) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE: BUR), and it works with companies and law firms around the world from its offices in New York, London, Chicago, Washington, DC, Singapore, Dubai, Sydney and Hong Kong.

For more information, please visit www.burfordcapital.com.

This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any ordinary shares or other securities of Burford.

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SRA Conducting ‘20 Live Investigations’ into Solicitors and Law Firms Involved in Post Office Scandal

By Harry Moran |

An announcement from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) revealed that its investigation of the Post Office Horizon IT scandal now encompasses ‘20 live investigations into solicitors and law firms who were working on behalf of the Post Office/Royal Mail Group.’ The SRA said that it was releasing this update as a result of ‘the recent significant interest in the Post Office Horizon Scandal and the resumption of hearings at the ongoing statutory public inquiry.’

The SRA said that it was investigating a range of issues related to the actions of the solicitors and these firms including: the management and supervision of cases, the use of expert witnesses, disclosure obligations and the improper application of privilege, and issues with the operation of the Post Office Complaint Review and Mediation Scheme. However, the statement emphasised that ‘this is not an exhaustive list’, and that the investigation would also encompass ‘the conduct of solicitors in relation to their engagement and cooperation with the ongoing public inquiry.’

Paul Philip, chief executive of the SRA, included the following comment in the statement:

“The impact of this miscarriage of justice on so many individuals is tragic. We have live investigations into the actions of lawyers in these cases. Although the range of issues we are investigating is complex, the fundamentals are simple. The public expect solicitors to behave ethically. They must act independently and do the right thing in the interests of justice.

We will take action where we find they have failed to do so. This is vital to protect the public, maintain trust in the profession, and send a clear message that any solicitor behaving unethically should expect serious consequences. We will act as swiftly as we can, but it is important that we get this right. We owe that to everyone impacted in this case and the wider public.”

The SRA’s full statement on the investigation can be read here.

Arcadia Finance Announces Launch of New Litigation Funding Firm

By Harry Moran |

Arcadia Finance, a new litigation funding firm focused on commercial litigation and arbitration, today announced its official launch to offer customized financial solutions and unparalleled support to empower clients and partners in achieving their legal goals. Led by litigation funding veterans David KersteinRonit Cohen, and Joshua Libling, the Arcadia leadership team has decades of funding and litigation experience, having collectively originated or underwritten over 80 transactions with funding commitments of more than $400 million.

Arcadia has secured access to over $100 million in investment capital with a broad mandate to offer solutions to all participants in the legal market. Arcadia expects most of its deals to be in the $2 million to $25 million range but can fund matters with commitments as low as $500,000 and as high as necessary to meet a client’s needs. “I believe that the future of litigation funding is client-focused,” Kerstein said, “and that means being able to meet clients where they are and cover the waterfront of potential litigation-backed investment opportunities.”

Arcadia’s focus on U.S.-based commercial and patent litigation and domestic and international arbitration is open to the whole spectrum of litigation-based assets, from mass torts to law firm lending to patent acquisition, including cross border and offshore matters.

“The team of Dave, Joshua, and Ronit are recognized and valued across the industry as one of the most trusted, experienced and successful funding teams. They are client-focused, fair and easy to work with. Their deep expertise and stellar credentials in not only litigation and arbitration but also in the funding industry enable them to quickly come up with creative and flexible solutions for their clients,” said Roman Silberfeld, National Trial Chair at Robins Kaplan, one of the nation’s premier trial law firms. “They are at the very top of the industry.”

The Arcadia Approach

Arcadia Finance goes beyond traditional finance. The firm is dedicated to providing “frictionless funding” through true partnerships with clients and law firms providing:

  • Customized Solutions: Arcadia tailors its funding approach to meet the specific needs of each case, engaging in proprietary risk analysis to ensure appropriate pricing and the best possible outcomes.
  • Responsive and Supportive Team: Arcadia's team is committed to providing transparency, responsive communication and authentic guidance throughout the entire litigation process.
  • Forward-Thinking Approach: Arcadia stays ahead of the curve, leveraging its expertise to anticipate challenges and strategize for success.
  • Exceeding Expectations: Arcadia is committed to exceeding client expectations by fostering trust and loyalty through a genuine dedication to clients’ success.

Cohen said: “At Arcadia Finance, we prioritize what matters most–our clients’ cases. We understand the challenges you face, having been trial lawyers ourselves. That’s why we created our ‘frictionless funding’ approach. It means streamlined processes, clear communication, and efficient decision-making, all aimed at getting clients the capital they need, fast. This empowers lawyers to focus on what they do best–advocating for their clients and achieving the best possible outcomes. Our transparent approach gives clients the information they need at every step, fostering trust and building a diversified, well-considered portfolio for investors.”

The Arcadia Team

Ronit Cohen, Co-Founder & Managing Director: One of the most experienced professionals in the funding industry, Ronit spent seven years at Bentham IMF, now Omni Bridgeway, where she helped launch their first office. She then joined Validity Finance 5 years ago, shortly after its launch. Ronit’s focus is on underwriting, having spent over a decade leading, creating, and monitoring litigation merits and risk projects. At Validity, she also headed up a pro bono effort to provide capital to wrongfully accused individuals during the pendency of their civil actions. Prior to joining the funding industry, Ronit was a litigator at Simpson Thacher and O’Melveny and Meyers. She received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Columbia University, graduating as a James Kent Scholar.

David Kerstein, Co-Founder & Managing Director: Dave is another industry pioneer. He was one of Validity Finance’s co-founders and served as Managing Director and Senior Investment Officer. In addition to co-leading Validity’s origination and structuring teams, he helped to guide Validity’s strategic growth into new and expanded markets and avenues for investment. Prior to co-founding Validity, Dave was an investment manager at Bentham IMF. He has been named among Lawdragon’s “Global 100 Leaders in Legal Finance” and selected by Who’s Who Legal as a “Thought Leader in Third Party Funding.” Prior to entering the litigation finance industry, Dave spent 15 years as a trial lawyer focused on complex commercial litigation and arbitration at Gibson Dunn. He received his J.D. from University of Pennsylvania (Toll Scholar) and a B.A. from University of Pennsylvania (Benjamin Franklin Scholar).

Joshua Libling, Co-Founder & Managing Director: Joshua was a member of Validity Finance’s senior leadership team with primary responsibility for risk analysis and pricing tools. His focus is on translating subjective legal merits assessments into trackable risk data that informs Arcadia’s investment decisions and portfolio construction. He is also responsible for modeling and operations at Arcadia. Joshua was previously a litigator at Boies Schiller Flexner, where he was involved in some of the country’s highest-profile and highest-stakes litigations and has worked extensively on appellate matters. He clerked for Judges on SDNY and the Second Circuit. Joshua has been named among Lawdragon’s “Global 100 Leaders in Legal Finance.” He received a J.D. from NYU Law School (magna cum laude) and his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago.

About Arcadia Finance

Based in New York City, Arcadia Finance cuts through the red tape of litigation funding. Our seamless collaboration, clear deal terms, and broad mandate empower clients to navigate challenges, make informed decisions, and secure capital–fast. Led by industry veterans with over $400 million invested across 80+ deals, Arcadia offers adaptable solutions for all–from litigation boutiques to AmLaw firms and corporations. For more information, go to www.arcadiafin.com.

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The LFJ Podcast
Hosted By Nicole Clark |

Our guest today is Nicole Clark, CEO and Founder of Trellis Law. Trellis democratizes access to the law by making state trial court records and legal data more accessible.

Prior to founding Trellis, Nicole specialized in business litigation and labor and employment matters at O’Connell Attmore & Morris, Liner, Andrews Lagasse Branch + Bell, and Newmeyer & Dillion.

House Judiciary Committee Hearing Places Funding Disclosure in the Spotlight

By Harry Moran |

Reporting by Bloomberg Law covers a hearing conducted by the House Judiciary Committee last week, which featured a discussion on the role of third-party litigation funding in US lawsuits. The committee hearing explored several issues raised around third-party funding, including the desire for increased transparency and disclosure of the presence of outside funding, and the alleged national security implications of the use of litigation finance by foreign businesses or state governments.

Darrel Issa, a representative from California, argued that there was a consensus “that in fact more transparency at a base level needs to be there”, and stated that he would begin drafting legislation to address the issue of disclosure in the following days. Bob Goodlatte, the former representative from Virginia, spoke as one of the witnesses at the hearing and focused on the issue of disclosure for foreign entities, highlighting previous reporting from Bloomberg about third-party funding activities undertaken by Russian and Chinese entities.

Taking a more moderate stance on the level of disclosure required, Victoria Sahani, a law professor at Boston University, suggested that the disclosure of individual funding agreements was not necessary as long as the identity of the funder is disclosed. Explaining her position on the issue, Sahana said: “We should be cautious not to shut down this new industry or reduce opportunities for this industry to improve the administration of justice out of fear”.

Donald Kochan, law professor at George Mason University, argued that there is evidence that when disclosure rules are implemented, it does dissuade certain third parties from engaging as third-party funders. Citing the example of Delaware, where Judge Connolly’s 2022 standing order on disclosure was introduced, Kochan stated that a wider implementation of these measures will “deter a lot of behavior because people just don’t want the sunshine on this.”

Minnesota Judge Rules Against Burford and Sysco in Enforcing Settlements

By John Freund |

As LFJ reported earlier this month, the ongoing saga of the control of antitrust lawsuits between Sysco and Burford Capital saw a new development, when a Minnesota court denied the parties request for a substitution of plaintiff. Now, a court in Illinois has handed another blow to Burford as it has denied the funder’s objections to the enforcement of a settlement between Sysco and poultry processing company Pilgrim’s Pride.

An article from Reuters provides an overview of the ruling from Judge Thomas M. Durkin in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which granted Pilgrim’s Pride motion to enforce the settlement with Sysco. The enforcement of the settlement in the antitrust lawsuit had been opposed by Burford Capital’s subsidiary Carina Ventures, arguing that a written agreement was necessary and Pilgrim had not “performed any of its obligations under the supposed settlement. 

In his ruling, Judge Durkin found that “neither argument is sufficient to undermine the objective evidence of agreement that is in the record”, citing emails between the parties from August to December 2022 which thereby provided “sufficient objective evidence of an agreement to enforce it.” With regards to Carina’s objection that this court did not have the jurisdiction to enforce the settlements in the claims taking place in Minnesota, stating that “it cannot be that there is no court with jurisdiction to enforce the global settlement.” 

Judge Durkin expanded on this issue of jurisdictions by saying: “This Court exercising jurisdiction to enforce settlement of actions pending in Minnesota will not interfere with the Minnesota proceedings between Pilgrim’s and Carina/Sysco – it will end them.”

Reuters’ article includes a quote from a Burford spokesperson which emphasised the company’s concern “that the court has today opted to enforce a supposed agreement that the parties clearly never viewed as binding.”The full ruling from Judge Durkin can be read here.

Litigation Finance Company Founder Scoops Coveted Award

By Harry Moran |

The founder of a major legal finance firm has been voted Most Influential CEO 2024 by a leading magazine.

Craig Cornick, CEO of Manchester- based IQuote Limited, was given the accolade by CEO Monthly for his contribution to legal services in the North-West.

Now in its third year, the awards celebrate the extraordinary achievements of the world's most influential CEOs; whose strategic acumen, transformative leadership, and unwavering commitment are recognised.

The awards are judged purely on merit with all winners assessed against multiple criteria, including company performance over a given period of time, experience within the industry, sector or region, previous accolades won, outstanding client testimonials, feedback or recommendations.

Addressing the win, Craig said: “Receiving the Most Influential CEO award is an incredible honour.

“It reflects the heart and soul that every member of IQuote invests in our shared vision.

“This recognition isn't just about leadership, it's about the relationships we've built, the challenges we've overcome, and the shared triumphs that define our journey.”

Since the beginning of his entrepreneurial career, Craig has remained a respected stalwart in the industry as he continues to revolutionise legal finance.

Recently, in a new commitment to encourage entrepreneurial spirit, he has also become a mentor to several young business owners in Manchester.

His decision to give back is rooted in his commitment to nurturing talent and contributing to the growth of Manchester's business community.

Founded in 2016, IQuote Limited specialises in legal asset and opex capital loans, with a primary focus on legal asset investing.

The firm, based in Cardinal House, Manchester, is constantly pushing for inventive solutions and prepared to offer investments to startups in the legal, technology and customer service sectors.

CEO Monthly is part of AI Global Media, an internationally focused B2B digital publishing group founded in 2010.

Craig’s recent win further shows IQuote’s commitment to drive innovation within the legal sector.

He added: “I am immensely proud of the IQuote team and their passion for making a lasting impact.

“Our influence is not just measured in awards but in the positive change we bring to the world and offering better access to justice for thousands of people.

“It serves as a powerful reminder that true influence is built on a foundation of collaboration and a commitment to shaping a better future.

“Thank you to my incredible team for making this achievement possible and once again thank you to CEO Monthly for their recognition. It is truly humbling."

A spokesperson from CEO Monthly Magazine, said: “Craig has demonstrated exceptional leadership and innovation in the legal services sector.

“His consistent focus on leveraging technology to disrupt traditional industries, particularly in litigation funding, highlights his commitment to enhancing access to justice for society's most vulnerable.

“Furthermore, Craig's philanthropic efforts distinguish him as a socially responsible leader. As the leading fundraiser for a Manchester charity event, he rallied thousands of pounds for the CEO Sleepout initiative, raising over £10,000 to combat homelessness.

“In recognition of his transformative leadership, entrepreneurial achievements, and commitment to social responsibility, Craig Cornick is undoubtedly a deserving candidate for this year’s awards.”

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The LFJ Podcast
Hosted By Invenio LLP |