Trending Now

Harry Moran's Posts

8 Articles

Litigation Funding Support Ensures Law Firm Can Continue MoD Lariam Claims

By John Freund |

A frequent talking point among claimant law firms and litigation funders is the use of delaying and prolonging tactics by defendants, hoping to continually increase the financial cost of bringing a case until it is no longer viable to do so. However, as a recent example demonstrates once again, third-party litigation funding provides a significant weapon in the claimant’s arsenal when it comes to combating this type of strategy.

An article in The Law Society Gazette covers ongoing developments in the group action being brought against the Ministry of Defence over claims that its prescription of Lariam, an anti-malarial drug, caused harmful side effects to armed forces personnel. The law firm leading these claims, Hilary Meredith Solicitors, has denied reporting that it is facing bankruptcy due to the large costs involved in the case, and told the Gazette that its financial backing is secure.

In a statement to the Gazette, the law firm stated that its “bank and litigation funders have confirmed their ongoing financial support”, which will allow the law firm to continue with the Lariam cases without fear of bankruptcy. Hilary Meredith Solicitors admitted that whilst it had been necessary “to borrow millions of pounds to fund this David and Goliath type action”, the law firm’s financial footing was secure with the support of outside lenders.

The identity of the litigation funder supporting Hilary Meredith Solicitors is not specified by the law firm’s statement or the Gazette’s reporting.

The firm also confirmed that with 10 lead cases scheduled for trial at the High Court next year, they are now “close” to agreeing a settlement with the MoD. The Gazette also cites its reporting from last year, which revealed that the MoD had spent £20 million on its legal budget to defend against the claims brought between 2021 and 2022.

Three Amendments to the Litigation Funding Bill Discussed at Committee Stage

By John Freund |

As the Litigation Funding Agreements (Enforceability) Bill is subject to a line by line examination during the committee stage today, we can analyse the amendments that have been put forward by members of the House of Lords. Of the three amendments that were discussed during the committee stage, two were put forward by Lord Stewart of Direlton and one by Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames.

Both of Lord Stewart’s amendments deal with the section of the bill that provides a definition of a litigation funding agreement.

The first of Lord Stewart’s amendments calls for the following line to be inserted at the end of the Clause 1, page 1, line 14: “(ia) where the litigant is a litigant in person, expenses incurred by that litigant, or”. In his explanatory statement, Lord Stewart said that this language “ensures that the definition of litigation funding agreements includes agreements under which a funder agrees to fund expenses incurred by a litigant in person.” 

The second of Lord Stewart’s amendments relates to Clause 1, page 1, line 16, which would take the following sentence: “the payment of costs that the litigant may be required to pay to another person by virtue of a costs order”, and would now be followed by: “, an arbitration award or a settlement agreement”. Lord Stewart explained that this would ensure that the bill’s definition of an LFA would also include “agreements under which a funder agrees to pay costs relating to litigation that arise by virtue of an arbitration award or a settlement agreement, as well as by virtue of a costs order.”

Lord Marks’ “probing amendment” would follow Clause 1 and would be titled “Review: enforceability of litigation funding agreements”. The language of the amendment requires the Lord Chancellor to “establish an independent review of the impact of provisions in this Act” and lays out the scope of such a review. This would include a review of safeguards for claimants, regulation of third-party funding, funders’ returns, and alternatives to LFAs. The amendment dictates that the review must be completed by 31 August 2025, and that the Lord Chancellor must then provide a response before Parliament within three months of receiving the review.

The full text of the amendments can be read here.

The current version of the bill can be read here.

LFJ will be providing a summary of the committee stage hearing once the Hansard transcript is available.

Second Edition of The Law and Business of Litigation Finance Published

By Harry Moran |

In a post on LinkedIn, Steven Friel, CEO at Woodsford, announced that the second edition of The Law and Business of Litigation Finance has been published by Bloomsbury Professional. The book is a holistic overview of the litigation finance industry and provides a guide to everything from how funders raise capital, to the key legal issues that are faced by those involved in third-party legal funding.

According to Bloomsbury’s listing, the new edition includes additional content on:

  • The commercial and finance aspects of litigation funding, including insight into the different stakeholders involved
  • Litigation finance in specific jurisdictions including Australia, continental Europe, Singapore, and Hong Kong
  • Updates on case law based on new high profile cases in the UK, USA and Australia, and developments in legislation and regulatory measures in those jurisdictions.

As the editor of the book, Friel also thanked all the contributors to the second edition which include: Abdur-Razzaq A., David Capper, Tony Sebok, Helena Clarke, Emily Duffy, Evan Fried, Josh Goodman, Samantha Hewitt, Alex Hickson, Ari Jaffess, Gina Kim, Riley King, Zachary Krug, Michael Lange, Richard Leedham, Alex Lempiner, David G. Liston, Walter Mansfield, John Middlemass, Charlie Morris, Ravi Nayer, Alex Patchen, Lucy Pert, Eric Schuller, Neill Shrimpton, David Siffert, Mark Spiteri, Ben Summerfield, Christian Toms, David T.Joe Tyler, Simon Walsh, Chloe Hanson.

The book is available to pre-order through Bloomsbury’s website, and is scheduled to be released later this week on 13 June.

ClaimShare Joins The European Litigation Funders Association (ELFA)

By Harry Moran |

The European Litigation Funders Association (ELFA) is pleased to announce that Dutch collective claim manager and aggregator ClaimShare, has joined ELFA as an associate member. 

ClaimShare's mission is to support people and SMEs that have suffered harm and seek redress from corporate wrongdoers. ClaimShare does this by bundling their claims and providing professional services to organizations that represent the claimants’ interests. Seeking the appropriate litigation funder is a crucial part of that service and for access to justice in general. For years, ClaimShare has advocated the necessity and added value of a dedicated litigation funding association in the EU. The establishment of ELFA is crucial to better inform clients, the legal industry and policy makers in the EU of the essential role litigation funding plays and its mechanics, as well as develop and foster best practices”, said Dirk Jan van den Broek, Managing Director of ClaimShare

Omni Bridgeway's Managing Director and ELFA Chairman, Wieger Wielinga, expressed his enthusiasm about ClaimShare joining as an associate member. He stated, "ELFA is delighted to have ClaimShare on board. With Dirk Jan and the broader ClaimShare team, we gain a wealth of experience accumulated through years of assisting claimants and interest organizations, specifically in the European Union in obtaining the redress they might not have otherwise achieved. Their perspective as a claims manager and aggregator will significantly contribute to our organization's mission and benefit the entire industry.” 

About The European Litigation Funders Association: 

ELFA was founded by three leading litigation funders with a European footprint, and today includes almost all European litigation funders. ELFA, was established to serve as the European voice of the commercial litigation funding industry. With the objective of representing the industry’s interests before governmental bodies, international organizations and professional associations, ELFA also aims to act as a clearinghouse and reference for relevant information, research and data regarding the uses and applications of commercial legal finance within the European continent. ELFA aims to be inclusive for all professional litigation funders of larger or smaller size and to allow specific contributing market participants and academics as associate members. 

About ClaimShare: 

ClaimShare exists to support individuals and interest groups to set up and manage class actions and group actions advancing equitable access to justice. ClaimShare has successfully initiated several well-known impactful claims, helping its clients obtain legal redress regarding leaking silicone breast implants, wrongful electricity pricing and metals fraud.

Read More

ALFA to Host Australian Class Action Conference in July

By Harry Moran |

In a post on LinkedIn, The Association of Litigation Funders of Australia (ALFA) announced it will be hosting a conference on class actions in Australia, with the half-day event set to take place on the afternoon of 11 July in Sydney. The conference will be bookended by two keynote addresses, with the first delivered by the Hon. Justice Nichols from the Supreme Court of Victoria, and the second by Professor Michael Legg from the faculty of law at UNSW.

The core of the event will be comprised of three panel discussions which will respectively cover the global litigation insurance market, securities and consumer class actions, and best practice for competing claims and consolidation. Speakers across these panels include senior figures from industry leading companies such as Balance Legal Capital, CASL, Herbert Smith Freehills, Litica, and Piper Alderman.

For further detail about the conference and to register your attendance, visit the event websites for in-person and virtual attendees.

Legal Finance SE Announces Plans to Fund Hundreds of Lawsuits Against Illegal Online Casinos

By Harry Moran |

The Frankfurt-based litigation financier Legal Finance SE, a subsidiary of listed company Nakiki SE (ISIN DE000WNDL300), is taking massive action against online casinos: According to current German legislation, most online casinos have been illegal since 2021 and must compensate players for all losses incurred in recent years. This means that injured parties can use Legal Finance to recover all the money they have lost through legal action.

Many players have lost hundreds of thousands of Euros playing online poker or sports betting in recent years. This is where Legal Finance comes in. Legal Finance funds lawsuits against casino operators in German courts and takes care of the entire legal process together with specialised consumer protection law firms.

The chances of success are high: German courts have already ordered several online casinos to pay refunds. In March of this year, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) agreed with Legal Finance's legal opinion that most online casinos are illegal and that gambling losses must be reimbursed to victims.

Legal Finance has a 40% success rate in each case. The average amount in dispute is between €30,000 and €50,000. Legal Finance initially plans to fund up to 100 cases per month and intends to increase this volume significantly.

Legal Finance acquires cases by working with law firms, and claimants can also contact Legal Finance directly via dedicated websites.

Federal Judges Argue Against Public Disclosure of Litigation Funding

By Harry Moran |

There has been a resurgence in calls for new rules that would implement mandatory disclosure of litigation funding agreements in US litigation, spurred on by arguments about the influence of foreign parties in American courts. Whilst this position has substantial support, it is clear that not all members of the judiciary are equally keen on the idea of forced public disclosures when it comes to third-party funding.

An article in Bloomberg Law covers comments made by Judge Robert M. Dow Jr., counsellor to Chief Justice John Roberts, at an industry conference hosted in New York by the International Legal Finance Association (ILFA). 

At the conference, Dow spoke out against the idea of mandating the public disclosure of litigation funding details, arguing that any concerns around the control of cases or conflicts of interest could be addressed through private disclosures to the judge overseeing the case. Dow argued that, “as long as the funder doesn’t have control, I don’t think it’s gonna be a major issue for judges.”

Explaining his concerns around the push for public disclosure, Dow pointed to the fact that such disclosures could be used by opposing parties to gain an unfair level of insight into the funded party’s litigation strategy. Dow argued that such a rule would create an imbalance, saying that it was “really not fair to give one side the other side’s litigation strategy unless it’s mutual.”

Ursula Ungaro, a former federal judge and now a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, spoke alongside Dow on the panel discussion and joined him in voicing opposition to proposals of mandatory disclosure. Ungaro tackled the suggestion of potential conflicts of interest with third-party funding, saying: “There are all kinds of things that go on in the world that have some influences on lawyers and clients and judge’s cases, to think that disclosure is going to solve that problem is nonsense.”

Factor Risk Management Launches M&A and Transactional Risks Department

By Harry Moran |

In a post on LinkedIn, Factor Risk Management (FRM) announced the launch of its new M&A and Transactional Risks department. Building upon its existing litigation finance and ATE insurance solutions, FRM is launching this new offering to service clients ‘who wish to mitigate the threat of litigation or guard against any ongoing disputes when involved in M&A deals.’ The M&A and Transactional Risks solutions will be available to clients across all industry sectors, including insurance policies covering warrant & indemnity, tax and contingent liability.

As part of this service launch, FRM has announced the appointment of James Wilson as Head of M&A and Transactional Risks, and Camila Lonzetti Vieira de Carvalho as Associate Director of M&A and Transactional Risks. Wilson commented on the launch of the new offering, saying: “Our agile structure, subject-matter expertise and market experience will allow clients a new option when looking for a partner to provide insurance solutions in the often fast-paced and complex M&A deal-making community.”

Tom Davey, Director and Co-founder of FRM, said that the appointment of James and Camila will “strengthen FRM’s powerful mix of insurance and finance professionals servicing the needs of the disputes, mergers and acquisitions market.”

James Wilson and Camila Lonzetti Vieira de Carvalho both join FRM from United Insurance Brokers Limited, having respectively served as Head of Corporate & Capital Risks and Associate Director at the broker.