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Burford Capital Appoints KPMG LLP as Independent Auditor

By Harry Moran |

Burford Capital Limited ("Burford"), the leading global finance and asset management firm focused on law, is pleased to announce that, on July 1, 2024, the audit committee (the "Audit Committee") of Burford's board of directors (the "Board") has approved, and the Board has ratified, the appointment of KPMG LLP ("KPMG") as Burford's independent registered public accounting firm. KPMG will review Burford's consolidated financial statements for the three and nine months ending September 30, 2024 and will audit Burford's consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2024.

KPMG replaces Ernst & Young LLP ("E&Y"), which has served as Burford's independent auditor since 2010. While Burford is not subject to traditional UK mandatory auditor rotation every ten years, Burford is nevertheless conscious of shareholder feedback about best practices in the UK market and, while it would have been disruptive to have rotated auditors during the transition to US GAAP and the addition of our New York Stock Exchange listing, with those items behind us now is an appropriate moment to abide by those best practices and move to another Big Four accounting firm.

KPMG's appointment is subject to the ratification of Burford's shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting (the "2024 EGM") to be held in due course.

Dismissal of Previous Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

On July 1, 2024, the Audit Committee has also approved, and the Board has ratified, the dismissal of E&Y as Burford's independent registered public accounting firm, effective immediately following the issuance of Burford's consolidated financial statements for the three and six months ended June 30, 2024.

The reports of E&Y on Burford's consolidated financial statements for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 did not contain an adverse opinion or a disclaimer of opinion and were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope or accounting principles. In connection with the audits of Burford's consolidated financial statements for each of the fiscal years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 and during the period from the end of the most recently completed fiscal year ended December 31, 2023 through July 1, 2024 (the "Interim Period"), there were no "disagreements" (as defined in Item 304(a)(1)(iv) of Regulation S-K) with E&Y on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure or auditing scope or procedure which "disagreements", if not resolved to the satisfaction of E&Y, would have caused E&Y to make reference to the subject matter of the "disagreements" in connection with their report for such years. There were no "reportable events" (as described in Item 304(a)(1)(v) of Regulation S-K) during the two fiscal years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 or the Interim Period, except for certain identified material weaknesses in Burford's internal controls relating to:

  • a lack of available evidence to demonstrate the precision of management's review of certain assumptions used in the measurement of the fair value of capital provision assets as disclosed in Burford's annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2023 filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on March 28, 2024, which Burford is in the process of remediating as of the date of this announcement; and
  • the determination of Burford's approach to measure the fair value of capital provision assets in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification Topic 820—Fair Value Measurement, as disclosed in Burford's annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2022 filed with the SEC on May 16, 2023, which was remediated at December 31, 2023.

The Audit Committee discussed the "reportable events" with E&Y, and Burford has authorized E&Y to respond fully to the inquiries of KPMG, as successor auditor, concerning the subject matter of such "reportable events".

Pursuant to Item 304(a)(3) of Regulation S-K, Burford provided E&Y with a copy of the disclosures in this announcement prior to furnishing this announcement under the cover of Form 6-K to the SEC, and E&Y has furnished a letter addressed to the SEC stating that E&Y agrees with the statements set forth in this paragraph and the two immediately preceding paragraphs above. A copy of E&Y's letter, dated July 9, 2024, has been furnished as Exhibit 99.1 to the Form 6-K.

Appointment of New Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

On and effective as of July 1, 2024, KPMG was appointed as Burford's independent registered public accounting firm for the three and nine months ending September 30, 2024 and for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2024. The Audit Committee approved, and the Board ratified, the appointment of KPMG, subject to the shareholder approval at the 2024 EGM. 

During Burford's two most recent fiscal years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 and the Interim Period, neither Burford nor anyone acting on its behalf has consulted KPMG regarding either (i) the application of accounting principles to a specified transaction, either completed or proposed, or the type of audit opinion that might be rendered on Burford's consolidated financial statements, and neither a written report nor oral advice was provided to Burford that KPMG concluded was an important factor considered by Burford in reaching a decision as to any accounting, auditing or financial reporting issue or (ii) any matter that was either the subject of a "disagreement" (as defined in Item 304(a)(1)(iv) of Regulation S-K) or a "reportable event" (as described in Item 304(a)(1)(v) of Regulation S-K).

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

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Allia Group Appoints Seasoned Legal Strategist Justin Fitzdam as General Counsel

By Harry Moran |

Allia Group, the innovative legal finance firm exclusively specializing in healthcare insurer disputes, is excited to announce that Justin Fitzdam has been appointed as General Counsel. Mr. Fitzdam is based in Allia Group’s Nashville office.

Fitzdam has extensive in-house healthcare litigation expertise. In his 11 year tenure at HCA Healthcare, one of the nation’s largest hospital systems and healthcare service providers, he spearheaded the development of their nationwide litigation program against managed care payors. In addition, he oversaw all litigation, regulatory enforcement and compliance, investigations, and related legal issues for a substantial portfolio of HCA’s facilities and affiliates. His strong track record of successful litigation against the largest health insurance companies resulted in several of HCA’s largest judgments.

Over the course of his career, Fitzdam brings nearly 20 years of litigation, mediation, and arbitration experience across a broad range of large, complex, and highly regulated industries.He began his career in private practice at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and then Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP where he represented clients on both the plaintiff and defendant sides in all federal and state court levels, including the United States Supreme Court.

Fitzdam holds a J.D. from Cornell Law School and a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Florida.

In his new role, Fitzdam will be responsible for leading and implementing litigation strategy for Allia Group’s portfolio of litigation and will serve as the head legal advisor to the CEO and senior management. In addition, he will also define new areas of growth and oversee the underwriting of legal risks related to new business and transactions.

“We are thrilled to welcome Justin to the team,” said Eliot Listman, CEO of Allia Group. “His expertise with payor litigation in both in network and out of network cases will be indispensable. He is an ideal fit as our strategy grows to include solutions for even the largest hospital systems and physician groups in the battle against big health insurance. We are fortunate to have Justin on the team in our mission to hold payors accountable for bad behavior.”

About Allia Group:

Allia Group specializes in litigation finance solutions to improve the financial position of healthcare providers. To demand responsibility from healthcare insurers, Allia litigates and arbitrates against these payors and structures the purchase of underpaid claims and legal rights to monetize these assets, benefitting providers’ cash flow. Allia has the experience to address the needs of hospital systems, physician groups, and emergency transportation businesses. Visit to learn more.

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Lawyers for Civil Justice Submits Letter to House Subcommittee in Support of Funding Disclosure Rules 

By Harry Moran |

As LFJ reported last month, a committee hearing in the US House of Representatives brought a renewed focus on the issue of disclosure and transparency in the use of third-party litigation funding. Since that hearing, the debate has continued to evolve, with advocacy groups lending their voices to the discussion, as funders and law firms try to influence the direction the legislature will take.

In a letter submitted to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ) responded to the Subcommittee’s hearing on third-party litigation finance. The letter, signed by LCJ’s president, Molly H. Craig, laid out its argument that “there are numerous compelling reasons why uniform rules requiring disclosure will benefit federal courts and parties while improving the transparency and fairness of the federal court system.”

LCJ listed the following reasons why it supported the introduction of new rules governing the disclosure of litigation funding:

  • Reduce the risk of conflicts of interest
  • Ensure that decision makers participate in court proceedings
  • Identify the actual interests of parties
  • Evaluate discovery requests and allocate costs and sanctions in accordance with the FRCP
  • Protect the interests of class action members
  • Ensure counsel represent their client’s interests, not third-party funders
  • Inform trial rulings on evidence admissibility and acceptable lines of questioning

LCJ also highlighted four proposals that it has previously put forward and continues to advocate for, which would introduce specific amendments to existing rules in order to “support or require such appropriate TPLF disclosures”. These include amendments to Rule 26 disclosure, Rule 16 disclosure, Rule 26.1 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Disclosure, and FRCP Rule 7.1 disclosure.LCJ describes itself as “a national coalition of corporations, law firms, and defense trial-lawyer organizations that promotes excellence and fairness in the civil justice system and supports measures to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of civil cases.”

More information about LCJ can be found on its website.

Latam Advisors Director says Argentina’s President Should Negotiate a Deal for $16B YPF Judgement

By Harry Moran |

One of last year’s biggest stories of the legal funding world was the $16 billion judgement in the Argentina YPF case, standing out as a significant win for litigation funder Burford Capital. However, the pressing question since this judgement has been how Argentina’s government would deal with this mammoth sum, especially since Burford Capital has continued to demonstrate its commitment to judgement enforcement and foreign asset recovery.

An article in the Buenos Aires Times, which analyses the current state of Argentinian President Javier Milei’s government, offers a small but interesting insight into the direction that Argentina’s leader could choose to take in regards to the $16 billion judgement in the YPF case. The article highlights recent comments from Sebastián Maril, director of Latam Advisors, who suggested that the Argentine government could attempt to negotiate a deal to end the dispute with Burford Capital over the $16 billion sum, with payments made over time in return for a lower total amount paid.

Maril argues that “Argentina should start viewing international legal proceedings as assets and not liabilities”, and that the government should seek to build relationships with these companies so that “beneficiaries of foreign judgments should understand that, by helping the Republic they’ll be helping themselves.” Maril places the YPF judgement in the context of a wider pattern of Argentina already having to pay out ‘US$16.35 billion in closed and settled legal judgements since 2000’, with an additional $10.245 billion in open judgements beyond the YPF settlement.

Paper Published on the Funder’s Perspective of International Arbitration

By Harry Moran |

In a post on LinkedIn, Francesca Mastragostino, junior associate at Bonn, Steichen and Partners, announced the publication of a paper titled ‘Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration: the Funder’s perspective’, which covers “the complex dynamics between the client and the funder during legal proceedings.” The paper, published by Club de l’arbitrage as part of Les Dossiers Du Blog De L’Arbitrage, includes an examination of the funding of these proceedings, including disclosure requirements for funders, rights and obligations, and security for costs.

In the paper, Mastragostino discusses the differences in disclosure rules between jurisdictions, highlighting the compulsory requirements in Hong Kong and Singapore versus the lack of any mandatory disclosure in Luxembourg. Mastragostino notes that despite the continuing conflict between advocates and critiques of the legal funding industry, “there might be indeed potential benefits to such transparency”, such as the possibility for this transparency to enhance the image of a claim as meritorious enough to have attracted funding.

Mastragostino also examines the nature of the relationship between a client and their funder, explaining that a positive model for this relationship is “characterised by continuing monitoring and dialogue.” She also highlights the value, beyond pure financial resources, that a funder can bring to these proceedings through the expertise and experience that litigation finance professionals can bring having worked on similar cases in the past.

The full paper can be found on the Club de l’arbitrage website.

SdK Offers Litigation Finance to Enforce Claims for Additional Payment for Former Shareholders of STADA Arzneimittel AG

By Harry Moran |

Former shareholders of STADA Arzneimittel AG who tendered their Stada shares as part of the takeover offer by Nidda Healthcare Holding AG in August or September 2017 are entitled to an additional payment of €8.15 per share. This was decided by the Federal Court of Justice in May 2023. Since Nidda Healthcare Holding AG refuses to make a voluntary additional payment to all former STADA shareholders, SdK Schutzgemeinschaft der Kapitalanleger e.V. is offering litigation financing for a legal claim without any cost risk to the affected former STADA shareholders.

On July 19, 2017, Nidda Healthcare Holding AG, a joint venture of the international financial investors Bain Capital and Cinven Partners, submitted a voluntary public takeover offer to the shareholders of STADA Arzneimittel AG to acquire their shares at a price of € 66.25 per share. Within the acceptance period (until the end of August 16, 2017), the bidder’s offer was accepted by 63.76 % of STADA shareholders and within a further acceptance period (until September 1, 2017) by a further 0.11 % of STADA shareholders. The bidder thus achieved a tender volume, including shares held by STADA, of approx. 63.87 % of STADA’s share capital and voting rights. 

On August 30, 2017, a shareholder holding 8,265,142 shares (13.26 % of the shares and voting rights) agreed to a domination and profit and loss transfer agreement between Nidda Healthcare and STADA if the amount of the compensation under the domination and profit and loss transfer agreement is at least EUR 74.40 per STADA share. Several former shareholders of STADA, who had accepted the lower takeover offer, filed a lawsuit against the bidder demanding the difference between the offer price and the compensation under the domination and profit and loss transfer agreement of EUR 74.40. 

In two identical judgments dated 23 May 2023 (case no. II ZR 219/21 and II ZR 220/21), the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled in favor of two plaintiffs pursuant to sections 31 (5) and (6) WpÜG, referring to the principles of the so-called Celesio case law. In principle, all former shareholders of Stada AG who had initially exchanged their regular shares for the securities tendered for sale with ISIN DE000A2GS5A4 or for securities subsequently tendered for sale with ISIN DE000A2GS5B2 and had subsequently tendered these in the takeover offer are entitled for the payment of the difference. 

Following a request of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority („BaFin“), the Bidder published a corresponding notice in the Federal Gazette, but pointed out that, in its view, any payment claims by former shareholders could be based on the defense of the statute of limitations. In the opinion of the Bidder, the statute of limitations generally began at the latest at the end of 2017. However, this is incorrect. The claims of the former shareholders of STADA are not yet time-barred: This is because after the courts of the 1st and 2nd instance had still rejected the claim for subsequent payment, only the BGH confirmed this claim for additional payment. The claim for additional payment is therefore not yet time-barred.

The SdK is offering affected former STADA shareholders legal cost financing to enforce their claims for additional payment. The claims can thus be enforced without any cost risk. The SdK, as the financier of the legal costs, assumes all costs of the legal proceedings in return for a profit participation of 30% of the proceeds in the event of success. For more information please contact us at SdK will be happy to answer any questions from its affected members by e-mail at or by telephone on +49 89 / 2020846-0.

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CourtCorrect, Leader in Complaints AI, Completes Funding Round from Industry Veterans

By Harry Moran |

CourtCorrect, the market leader in complaints resolution with AI, is pleased to share that we have successfully completed a funding round from industry veterans to fuel our growth and product development.

CourtCorrect is an AI startup based in London, focusing on the safe deployment of artificial intelligence technologies to improve the efficiency, quality and root cause analysis of complaints resolution. We work with clients across financial services and other regulated industries and process thousands of cases every week.

Investors participating in the round include both existing and new investors such as Alain Dehaze (former CEO of Fortune 500 The Adecco Group), Philippe Verboogen (Managing Director at BlackRock and the driving force behind the Growth of eFront Solutions prior to being acquired by BlackRock for >$1bn) and Dr. David Wicki-Birchler (Head of Compliance at a Swiss Banking Group).

This further funding, coming on top of over £2m in Seed Funding raised from 20VC, Visionaries Club, Ascension VC and Concept Ventures will allow CourtCorrect to invest in its growth trajectory as clients scale their use of the platform and new firms onboard to the future of complaints resolution.

Additionally, this funding enables CourtCorrect to further invest in product development, including assisting clients with root cause analysis as we continue to position the company as the market leader for complaints resolution with AI.

Alain Dehaze had this to say about the funding round:

“We are delighted to support CourtCorrect in her growth ambitions and to build on the strong impact her clients have been seeing from AI. We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration with Ludwig and the team by providing a strategic investment as well as guidance on scaling up the sales function. Good luck to the whole team!”

Ludwig Bull had this to add following the completion of the round:

“This investment comes at the perfect time for CourtCorrect. Following tremendous growth in the last 12 months, we are looking forward to investing directly in our Go-To-Market strategy as well as continue to build out the platform in close collaboration with our clients. I’m sure that this vote of confidence in our team, product and business model will propel CourtCorrect to new heights.”

Thank you to our investors, team members and advisers who supported this investment round.

About CourtCorrect:

CourtCorrect works with clients across financial services and other regulated markets to improve the efficiency, quality and root cause analysis of complaints resolution. By leveraging the most recent advances in AI and with an expert team drawn from machine learning and financial services compliance backgrounds, CourtCorrect processes thousands of cases every week to create a win-win-win for consumers, businesses and regulators.

CourtCorrect assists clients across the resolution process, including generating letters and other correspondence, structuring and extracting key insights from documents, assessing potential outcomes against the backdrop of internal policies and regulations and identifying root causes both in individual cases and in aggregate. As a result, businesses save time, improve the quality of resolution, remediate complaints causes effectively, improve customer retention and align more closely with regulatory rules, including Consumer Duty.Please feel free to contact us at or request a free trial of the platform on our website:

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4 Rivers and Case Legal Media Form Strategic Alliance

By Harry Moran |

4 Rivers and Case Legal Media (“CASE”) are pleased to announce a strategic alliance to collaborate to assist law firms which operate in the mass torts space with case origination and funding. 

Law firms acting for mass tort claimants are often in the position where they require external funding to provide working capital for themselves, as well as case costs and expenses, while the claims are in progress. Law firms must therefore be properly funded so that they can pursue further actions which benefit from CASE’s acquisition and intake expertise.  4 Rivers has extensive know-how and bespoke tools which can be used to secure such finance from diverse sources of capital.  

The two firms have recognised that there will be considerable value in working with each other on projects and generally from sharing intellectual capital, and contacts in the legal and funding sectors, as well as deriving further benefits from sharing support, resources, and infrastructure.

Peter Petyt, Chief Executive Officer of 4 Rivers, said: “I am delighted that 4 Rivers and Case Legal Media will be working together to help law firms to secure the right type and amount of finance to allow them to acquire meritorious cases and run the cases with sufficient resources to give them every chance of a successful outcome.”   George Young, Founder of CASE Legal Media, said: 

“CASE Legal Media is excited for the opportunity to partner with Peter and his team.  We are always looking for ways to improve our services and add value to our law firm partners, and we think the resources provided by 4 Rivers can give our clients a unique level of market intelligence to navigate the world of litigation finance.”

About 4 Rivers

4 Rivers is a legal finance advisor and brokerage which originates claims either from claimants direct or through law firms. It has relationships in place with the major third-party funders based throughout the world, as well as multi-strategy funds, family offices, private equity funds, and private credit funds.

It also advises on law firm strategy and mergers and acquisitions in the wider legal services sector.  4 Rivers also has long established relationships with lawyers and attorneys, barristers, valuation experts, forensic accountants, e-discovery vendors, investigations companies, asset tracers, costs companies and other specialists in order to assemble the right team to enable third-party funding to be secured and/or a contingency arrangement to be negotiated.

About Case Legal Media 

CASE Legal Media helps law firms procure thousands of cases in both national mass tort and local personal injury campaigns, using the power of television, radio, and digital media together to deliver low cost and high-quality case acquisition. CASE assists clients in all aspects of client acquisition, from marketing to intake to records retrieval. They are currently active in a number of case acquisition marketing campaigns for their law firm partners, including Asbestos, Camp LeJeune, Hair Relaxer, MVA, NEC, and PFAS, amongst others. CASE has a database of approximately 4,000 law firms with whom it has had a range of contacts in the past. 

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Apple Asks Delaware Court to Force Omni Bridgeway to Answer Subpoena

By Harry Moran |

The fight over disclosure and transparency around third-party funding of patent infringement litigation continues to generate high-profile cases, as one of the world’s largest technology corporations is asking a court to force a litigation funder to respond to its subpoena.

Reporting by Bloomberg Law provides an overview of a recent filing from Apple Inc., which sees the technology giant file a motion to compel compliance with a subpoena for Omni Bridgeway. Apple is asking the US District Court for the District of Delaware to force the litigation funder to answer a December 2023 subpoena, seeking information about Omni Bridgeway’s involvement in a California patent infringement suit. The original patent lawsuit was brought by MPH Technologies Oy in 2018, claiming that Apple had infringed on its patents with Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime products.

The filing of the motion to compel compliance has come after Apple says that several discussions have taken place between lawyers for the company and Omni Bridgeway, but none of these conversations have resulted in the litigation funder being willing to disclose the requested information. In a declaration in support of the motion, Hannah Cannom, an attorney at Walker Stevens Cannom who represents Apple in the patent infringement case, confirmed that the funder “has not produced any responsive documents to the Amended Subpoena nor offered any witness for a deposition.”

A letter from Omni Bridgeway, that was included as an exhibit for another declaration by one of Apple’s lawyers, shows that the funder objected to the subpoena and asserted 20 separate objections to the request. In the summary of its objections, Omni Bridgeway’s counsel stated that “the subpoena does not coherently state what information it seeks; why the information sought by the subpoena is discoverable in the underlying litigation; and why information requested by the subpoena cannot be obtained directly from a party to the underlying action.”

Neither representatives from Apple nor Omni did not respond to Bloomberg Law’s requests for comment.

CASL Funding Class Action Over Surcharges Imposed on Foreign Property Purchasers 

By Harry Moran |

Australia remains one of the top jurisdictions for litigation funders looking to engage in funding opportunities for class action claims, as demonstrated once again by CASL’s financing of case in the Federal Court which is seeking compensation for foreign persons who paid surcharges on property purchases or ownership.

An article in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) highlights an ongoing class action brought against the Victorian State Government over its imposition of stamp duty and land tax surcharges on foreign parties who purchased or own property in Victoria. The central argument of the claim is that the state government imposed at least two of these surcharges on foreign purchasers, in breach of existing Commonwealth agreements with certain countries that ensure taxes are equitable. 

The class action is seeking up to $500 million in compensation for persons who paid one of these surcharges, and is a foreign national from Finland, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, and Switzerland.

The Foreign Purchaser Surcharges class action was filed in the Federal Court of Australia earlier this year, with law firm Johnson Winter Slattery representing the claimants and litigation funder CASL supporting the case. AFR spoke with the founder of CASL, John Walker, who explained that the government “promised all these countries which they created treaties with that they’d deal with taxes in a non-discriminatory way”, and that after evaluating their options, “the only real possibility of having commercially viable compensatory proceedings commenced was in Victoria.”

Kim May, senior investment manager at CASL, also explained that whilst the case has been filed in the Federal Court, its final destination may lay elsewhere. May said that the claim contains “constitutional issues”, and that from CASL’s perspective “the place for that to be ventilated is the High Court”.For more information, visit the Foreign Purchaser Surcharges class action website.

iLA Law Firm Expands Services to Include Litigation Funding Agreements

By Harry Moran |

As the relationship between litigation funders and law firms continues to grow intertwined, we are not only seeing funders getting more involved in the ownership of law firms, but also specialist law firms looking to provide their own niche litigation funding services.

An article in Legal Futures covers the expansion of iLA into the business of litigation funding agreements, with the Poole-based law firm providing this new service offering to a range of clients from individuals to SMEs. iLA’s co-founder and chief finance officer, Luke Baldwin, explained that one aspect of the law firm’s litigation funding service includes work on matrimonial cases, providing funding of between £25,000 to £75,000 to individual clients. Other examples include funding for disputes brought by SMEs over ‘undisclosed commissions on energy contracts’, or individuals with claims relating to car finance agreements.

iLA was founded in March 2022 by Mr Baldwin and Anastasia Ttofis, with both co-founders having previously worked together on their Bournemouth-based brokerage business, Niche Specialist Finance. Since its launch, iLA has grown from servicing 13 clients in its first month to providing independent legal advice to between 600 and 700 clients. iLA’s growth has been bolstered by a series of partnerships with other solicitors, brokers and lenders, including a partnership with the specialist mortgage lender, Keystone Property Finance.

ALFA Welcomes Mackay Chapman as Newest Associate Member

By Harry Moran |

In a post on LinkedIn, The Association of Litigation Funders of Australia (ALFA) announced that it is welcoming Mackay Chapman as its newest Associate Member. Mackay Chapman becomes the 12th Associate Member of ALFA, following the inclusion of Litica in April of this year.

Mackay Chapman is a boutique legal and advisory firm, specialising in high-stakes regulatory, financial services and insolvency disputes. The Melbourne-based law firm was founded in 2016 by Dan Mackay and Michael Chapman, who bring 25 years of experience in complex disputes to the business.More information about Mackay Chapman can be found on its website.

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Deminor Announces Settlement in Danish OW Bunker Case

By Harry Moran |

An announcement from Deminor Litigation Funding revealed that a settlement has been reached in the OW Bunker action in Demark, which Deminor funded litigation brought by a group of 20 institutional investors against the investment banks Carnegie and Morgan Stanley.

This is part of a wider group of actions originating from OW Bunker’s 2014 bankruptcy, which led to significant financial losses for both company creditors and shareholders who had invested in the company. These other cases were brought against several defendants, including OW Bunker and its former management and Board of Directors, Altor Fund II, and the aforementioned investment banks.

The settlement provides compensation for plaintiffs across the four legal actions, with a total value of approximately 645 million DKK, including legal costs. The settlement agreement requires the parties to ‘waive any further claims against each other relating to OW Bunker’. Deminor’s announcement makes clear that ‘none of the defendants have acknowledged any legal responsibility in the group of linked cases in connection with the settlement.’

Charles Demoulin, Chief Investment Officer of Deminor, said that “the settlement makes it possible for our clients to benefit from a reasonable compensation for their losses”, and that they were advising the client “to accept this solution which represents a better alternative to continuing the litigation with the resulting uncertainties.” Joeri Klein, General Counsel Netherlands and Co-head Investment Recovery of Deminor, said that the settlement had demonstrated that “in Denmark it has now proven to be possible to find a balanced solution to redress investor related claims.”

Burford German Funding Sued Over Hausfeld Ownership Stake

By Harry Moran |

The ownership or funding of law firms by litigation funders continues to be a hot topic in the world of legal funding, with models such as alternative business structures (ABS) gaining momentum in places like Arizona. However, a complaint filed by a client in Delaware reveals a falling out due to the reverse funding model, where a law firm maintained an ownership stake in the funder.

Reporting by Bloomberg Law covers a new lawsuit brought against Burford German Funding (BGF), an affiliate of Burford Capital, by a client who claims that the funder failed to disclose the fact that BGF was partly owned by the same law firm it nominated to lead the client’s antitrust cases. Financialright Claims GMBH (FRC) alleges that when it negotiated the funding agreement with BGF for its antitrust litigation against the trucks cartel, it had no knowledge “that Hausfeld  was  also  a  part  owner  of  BGF  through  an  entity  called German Litigation Solutions LLC (“GLS”) or that one of the lead German partners at Hausfeld responsible for the firm’s representation of FRC had a personal stake.”

The complaint, filed by FRC in the Delaware Superior Court, explains that as Hausfeld is part-owner of BGF, and the funding agreement “provides for a share of FRC’s recoveries in the Trucks Litigations to flow to FRC’s lawyers”, this constitutes a contingency fee arrangement which are illegal under German law.  FRC had filed a lawsuit against Hausfeld in a German court and then applied for discovery from BGF, Burford and GLS in the Delaware District Court, which was followed by an assertion by these parties that the application for discovery “is subject to mandatory arbitration” under the terms of the funding agreement.

FRC argues that “as  a  direct  result  of  BGF’s  fraud  on  FRC,  FRC  did  agree  to  the Arbitration Agreement that—according to BGF—subsumes disputes between FRC and GLS.” However, FRC claims that it “would  never  have  agreed  to  an  arbitration  clause  requiring  it  to arbitrate claims against Hausfeld”, were it not for the concealment of Hausfeld’s ownership stake in BGF. FRC is therefore asking the Superior Court to declare that “BGF fraudulently induced  FRC  into  agreeing  to  the  Arbitration  Agreement”, and that the agreement should be declared both invalid and unenforceable.

Lisa Sharrow, spokesperson at Hausfeld LLP, provided the following statement:  “The US-based Hausfeld LLP and the UK-based Hausfeld & Co LLP hold indirect economic minority interests in Burford German Funding. These are separate legal entities from Hausfeld Rechtsanwälte LLP that do not practice law in Germany. Burford German Funding was of course developed and set up in a way that was fully compliant with all relevant regulations.”

David Helfenbein, spokesperson at Burford, also provided a response to Bloomberg via email: “There is a dispute in Germany between a client Burford has funded and its lawyers. Burford is not a party to that dispute and its outcome has no impact on us. This Delaware proceeding is a third-party discovery request to Burford for material for the German litigation, which Burford believes should be adjudicated in arbitration and not in the Delaware courts.”

The full complaint filed by FRC can be read here.

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Litigation Funders: We’re Unsexy and We Know it!

By Maurice Power |

The following article was contributed by Maurice Power, Chief Executive Officer of Apex Litigation Finance. Apex is an established litigation funder providing bespoke funding solutions to small/mid-size commercial claims in the UK.

The widely reported panel session on litigation funding, at the recent London International Disputes Week, was wide ranging and thought provoking, with several insightful comments from Judge Sara Cockerill, former head of the Commercial Court, and the three senior lawyers who joined her on the panel. 

Mrs Justice Cockerill shared her concerns that whilst “sexy” cases, such as those which can be commoditised (e.g. competition or class action claims) or fit well into a funder’s portfolio, are most likely to be funded, other claims are less likely to be funded.  I think those familiar with the litigation funding market would broadly agree with those sentiments.  However,  contrary to that view, new entrants to the litigation funding market, including Apex Litigation Finance, are increasing the funding options available to litigating parties.  One off mid-sized claims by SMEs, individuals and insolvency practitioners are of interest to certain funders, even if the claims are deemed not to be “sexy”!

Apex was set up specifically to fund mid-sized claims.  One of Apex’s USPs is that we have no minimum funding need, so we are able to offer funding solutions for claims where, for example, only disbursements need funding. For a range of mid-sized claims  a cash injection from a funder can allow a case to proceed when it would otherwise be stymied.  The sort of claims Apex typically fund probably fall outside of the description of “sexy” used in the panel session due to their size and nature.

An SME (as well as individuals and insolvency practitioners), when faced with the reality of funding the costs of litigation, the delaying tactics of defendants, the adverse costs risk exposure and lengths of cases in the Commercial Courts, may simply be unable to afford the risk or cost of pursuing a meritorious case, or may prefer to spread and share some of the risks that come with all litigation in order to access justice. 

There is a gap between the sorts of cases typically brought by an SME and those of interest to the larger high profile funders.  Claims for breach of contract, business interruption cover insurance, professional negligence and shareholder disputes (to name some examples), as well as claims brought in insolvency processes, rarely involve claim values of more than £10m and yet they may not be pursued as many funders are simply not interested in supporting lower value cases. Litigation funding is just as essential in providing access to justice for these sorts of claims, as for the larger claims and class actions.  That funding gap is increasingly being addressed by funders such as Apex, who focus not on the scale of the investment but whether flexible funding, alongside a legal team working on full or partial CFAs, can enable these sorts of claims to be pursued in a cost-effective manner to deliver a decent commercial return to the funded client.

Whilst Apex bases their return on a multiple of funds deployed, as opposed to being paid a percentage of realisations, the impact of the PACCAR case on the wider litigation funding market is not helpful for the promotion of the concept of litigation funding and building confidence in the market.  The Litigation Funding Agreements Bill has been stood down for now, given the pending general election, but it is essential that it is revisited as soon after the election as possible, a sentiment we share with Mrs Justice Cockerill.

Mrs Justice Cockerill accepted that it is not feasible to have a single cap on the costs of funding and called for more transparency so both parties know what they are selling and what they are buying.  Many funders, including Apex, provide a funding facility with the funder’s fee based on a multiple of funds deployed, an approach which should be easily understood by the litigant seeking funding, and thus provides the transparency the litigant needs to calculate the costs.  I personally love a spreadsheet and am happy to set out the likely returns to the client in a series of scenarios, including an early settlement, a successful mediation, a deal done on the Court steps and (usually the worst for all parties) an outcome at trial, with some clearly set out assumptions.

The UK has a rapidly developing litigation funding market which Apex is proud to be an active part of.  That a senior Judge has endorsed the concept of litigation funding is great to hear.  The market would be wise to listen to the issues raised by commentators such as Lady Justice Cockerill, who have a deep understanding of the challenges facing litigating parties, and continue to evolve their approach and offerings to address the needs of as wide a range of litigating parties as possible.  That can and should include the “unsexy” cases.

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Litigation Funders Pursuing Law Firm Ownership Through Arizona ABS Rules

By Harry Moran |

As the legal funding industry continues to mature and grow, funders are keen to explore new opportunities to commit their capital to legal disputes, either through direct or indirect routes. One example of the latter approach can be found in law firm funding, with funders looking to embrace opportunities in jurisdictions that allow for outside investment or ownership of law firms.

An article in Bloomberg Law examines the influx of capital into Arizona from litigation funders and private equity firms who are seeking to acquire stakes in law firms, following the state’s reforms of rules governing law firm ownership and alternative business structures (ABS). The article states that of the 76 applications for an ABS that have been approved since 2020, at least 15 of these applications have involved litigation funders or private equity firms.

Bloomberg Law’s reporting reveals that the litigation funders behind these moves into ABS ownership models of Arizonan law firms include: Pravati Capital, Virage Capital Management, Counsel Financial, Bespoke Capital Consulting and 777 Partners. 

One example given is the 1787 legal group, which was formed in 2023 by Pravati Capital’s CEO Alexander Chucri, who owns 80 percent of the company through Arizona Legal Ventures LLC. Similarly, the article covers an ongoing venture pursued by Armadillo Litigation Funding alongside the Houston-based Johnson Law Group, the ABS Bay Point Legal Partners, and ARCHER Systems settlement administrator. In this case, both Armadillo and Johnson Law Group are already owned by the same individuals.

Boris Ziser, based partner and co-head of the finance group and global leader of the litigation funding practice at Schulte Roth + Zabel, told Bloomberg that Arizona’s reform of the ABS rules “didn’t introduce a new concept in terms of funding or financing of a law firm’s business, what it did was changed the way one can provide that funding.” Ziser goes on to explain that “what the Arizona ABS enables the law firm to do is actually funding, or investing, in an equity form rather than debt and that could have a lot of appeal.”

The article goes on to explain that despite these firms being based in Arizona, the ABS model still allows them to pursue case opportunities nationwide, as the lawyers at the firm can co-counsel with firms based in other states.

Deminor Funding Paralympic Athlete’s Lawsuit Against IPC

By Harry Moran |

Supporting access to justice remains one of the core benefits that litigation funding brings to legal systems all around the world, with third-party funders providing the desperately needed resources for smaller litigants to fight against well-resourced defendants. This is epitomized in a case where a funder is supporting a Paralympic athlete’s fight for justice against the sport’s governing body.

An announcement from Deminor Litigation Funding revealed that it is funding a lawsuit brought against the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) by Brazilian Para swimmer André Brasil. The lawsuit has its origins in World Para Swimming’s (WPS) revision of its classification system for the Paralympic Games in 2018, which led to André Brasil being reclassified as ineligible to compete. Following this decision, Brasil and the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CBP) initiated legal proceedings against the IPC in Germany, arguing that the classification system violates both human rights, and German and European antitrust laws. 

At first, the Cologne Regional Court rejected these arguments and sided with the IPC, but this was eventually overturned by the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal, ruling that the IPC’s position as a monopoly meant that it ‘had an obligation to grant the Athlete a sufficient grace period in order to prepare him for the rule change and his potential ineligibility.’ The court ordered the IPC to pay André Brasil damages, but the IPC is now seeking to appeal the decision at the Federal Court of Justice.

André Brasil is being represented by Counsel Alexander Engelhard and a team of attorneys from Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein. Engelhard expressed gratitude to have “a reliable and value-driven litigation funder in Deminor” supporting the lawsuit, and said that “together we will do what it takes to allow the Federal Court of Justice to decide in the Athlete’s favour.”

Dr. Malte Stübinger, General Counsel Germany at Deminor said, “By supporting André, we are advocating for a broader change that champions the rights and fair treatment of all athletes. It's essential that we address these systemic issues to ensure that the spirit of competition remains just and equitable for everyone.”

CASL Targets Australian Investors in Launch of New $150M Litigation Fund

By Harry Moran |

Leading Australian litigation funder CASL today launched a $150 million fund giving local investors the opportunity to participate in funding of selected new class actions including product liability and other mass consumer claims, commercial litigation and insolvency claims. 

CASL Fund 2 is expected to appeal to Australian sophisticated investors seeking exposure to a truly alternative asset class with attractive risk-adjusted returns and a capital-protected option. The fund is well suited to high-net worth individuals, family offices and foundations seeking to diversify into uncorrelated ESG assets. 

Co-founded in 2020 by two of Australia’s most experienced litigation funders, John Walker and Stuart Price, CASL has quickly established a reputation as an astute backer of legal claims in the competitive Australian market. The two completed actions filed with the backing of CASL’s inaugural $156 million fund since 2022 have returned 165% to investors; another 11 actions are in progress. 

Considered a pioneer of litigation funding in Australia, CASL Executive Chair John Walker co-founded IMF Bentham, now Omni Bridgeway, in 1998 while CASL CEO Mr Price was CEO of Litigation Lending Services for six years prior to co-founding CASL. 

Mr Price said litigation funding had an important role to play in levelling the legal playing field for victims of corporate or government misconduct, and investors were important partners in this process. 

“In global terms Australia is a receptive jurisdiction for the filing of group claims and funded actions but there is increasingly a premium on funders with proven expertise in sourcing and qualifying claims, and managing them to a successful resolution,” Mr Price said. 

“CASL brings that – our team has a proven record for deploying funds efficiently in support of worthy claims and generating strong financial outcomes for both claimants and investors. 

“We see a healthy pipeline of potential new actions in Australia with good prospects and considerable upside for investors willing to fund them. This fund will be a rare opportunity for investors to participate in a purely domestic litigation funding play backed by an experienced local team with a proven record for generating returns for investors. Early indications are we have $30 million in investor pre-commitments so there is clearly an appetite for litigation funding as an alternative asset class.” 

The combined success rate of 183 funded claims involving Mr Walker or Mr Price since 1996 is 92%. These cases have delivered settlement proceeds of $2.6 billion with an average duration of two and half years. 

The launch of CASL Fund 2 comes amid a changing landscape for class actions in Australia, with consumer actions overtaking securities actions as the leading type of funded claim, reflecting the development of effective legislation to hold large corporates to account. 

An innovative feature of the CASL Fund 2 offer is the ability of investors to elect a capital-protected allocation option with a discounted target return.

Key features of the offer include:

 CASL Fund 2: Up to $150m, Class A and Class B Units
 Class AClass B
Capital protectionYesNo
Fund term5 years
(2 years investment, 3 years harvest)
Hurdle rate per annum10%12%
Performance fee (after hurdle, fees and costs)40%25%
Management fee (% of capital commitment) per annum2%2%

Funds raised will be deployed only into new actions, with all existing funded matters funded by CASL Fund 1. No distinction will be made between Class A and B funds for the purposes of funding actions. 

An estimated $200m to $300m is deployed by litigation funders supporting legal claims in Australia, excluding law firms’ funding of actions from their own balance sheets. The most active sources of funding for Australian actions are based offshore and include hedge funds and specialist asset managers, many domiciled in tax-friendly jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands and Channels Islands, attracted to Australia’s relatively receptive environment for group claims. 

CASL’s Fund 2 will be an Australian-domiciled unit trust. Bell Potter is lead manager for the CASL Fund 2 capital raise. 

Mr Price said: “Agility and responsiveness are important in selecting claims and bringing litigation – being based locally, CASL has the advantage of being able to move and make decisions quickly when required.” 

To coincide with the fundraise CASL announced that Ian Stone, former Group Managing Director and CEO of RAA, would join the Board of CASL’s Trustee entity CASL Funder Pty Limited. Tania Sulan, former Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer - Australia for Omni Bridgeway will also join the CASL Investment Committee. Visit for more information about CASL Fund 2.

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£2.7 Billion Competition Claim Filed Against Amazon, Funded by Innsworth

By Harry Moran |

Following on from the news LFJ reported earlier this month that Amazon was already facing one class action claim in the UK, we have now had confirmation that a second claim has been filed against the online retailing giant over allegations that it has engaged in anticompetitive behaviour.

An announcement from Geradin Partners reveals that a claim has today been filed against Amazon before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), which alleges that Amazon’s anticompetitive practices discriminated against third-party sellers and harmed their businesses. The opt-out claim is valued in excess of £2.7 billion and is being brought by Professor Andreas Stephan, professor of competition law at the University of East Anglia, on behalf of more than 200,000 UK third-party sellers on Amazon who used a “professional” selling account on the site between June 2018 and June 2024.

The claim alleges that Amazon has engaged in a wide variety of anticompetitive abuses, including discriminating in favour of its own retail sellers and conditioning third-party sellers’ access to its Amazon Prime service to the use of its own Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) logistics services. As a result of this conduct, the claim argues that these third-party sellers have been harmed through lost sales, as well as higher costs and paid fees to Amazon. 

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Stephan said: “Amazon has engaged in a variety of strategies to grow its e-commerce platform, lock sellers into it, prevent the expansion of rivals, and use its market dominance to exploit the hundreds of thousands of sellers in Britain that use its platform.” Damian Geradin, founding partner of Geradin Partners, explained that this opt-out claim “gives sellers the opportunity to seek redress for the significant harm they have suffered.”

In a post on LinkedIn, Damian Geradin confirmed that Innsworth Advisors Ltd. is providing litigation funding for the case.

Professor Stephan’s legal team is being led by Geradin Partners, alongside Kieron Beal KC of Blackstone Chambers, Daniel Carall-Green and Hannah Bernstein from Fountain Court Chambers. The claim is also being supported by advisors from Frontier Economics, and a consultative council that includes former Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger, Stephen Robertson, former Director General of the British Retail Consortium, and commercial litigation specialist Sue Prevezer KC.More information can be found on the claim website.

Almaden Announces Litigation Financing of up to $9.5 million

By Harry Moran |

Almaden Minerals Ltd. (“Almaden” or “the Company”; TSX: AMM; OTCQB: AAUAF) is pleased to announce that further to its press release of June 17, 2024, it has confirmed non-recourse litigation funding in the amount of up to US$9.5 million to pursue its international arbitration proceedings against the United Mexican States (“Mexico”) under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”). The Company has also agreed with Almadex Minerals Ltd. (“Almadex”) to an extension to the maturity of its gold loan, and a litigation management agreement to help streamline corporate management of the arbitration process.

  • Non-recourse funding secured to pursue international arbitration proceedings against Mexico;
  • Globally leading counterparty validates quality of legal claims;
  • Gold loan maturity pushed out from March 31, 2026 to March 31, 2030;
  • Litigation Management Agreement streamlines corporate management of the arbitration proceedings to save money and time.

Litigation Financing

The Company has signed a litigation funding agreement (“LFA”) with a leading legal finance provider. The facility is available for immediate draw down for Almaden to pursue damages against Mexico under the CPTPP resulting from Mexico’s actions which blocked the development of the Ixtaca project and ultimately retroactively terminated the Company’s mineral concessions, causing the loss of the Company’s investments in Mexico.

The LFA provides funding which is expected to cover all legal, tribunal and external expert costs of the legal claims, as well as some corporate operating expenses as may be required. The funding is repayable in the event that a damages award is recovered from Mexico, with such repayment being a contingent entitlement to those damages.

The financing follows extensive due diligence by the finance provider. The financing size as well as the quality of the provider is testament to the strength of the Company’s legal claims against Mexico.

Gold Loan Amendment

The Company is also pleased to report that it has agreed with Almadex to extend the maturity of the gold loan (see press release of May 14, 2019) from March 31, 2026 to the earlier of March 31, 2030 or the receipt by Almaden or its subsidiary of any amount relating to its legal claims against Mexico.

In return for this amendment, in addition to its obligation to repay the gold loan, the Company has agreed to pay Almadex 2.0% of the gross amount of any damages award that Almaden may receive as a result of the legal claims, such repayment to be subordinate to amounts due under the LFA, and any additional legal and management fees.

Litigation Management Agreement

Finally, the Company has agreed with Almadex and its Mexican subsidiary to streamline the management of the arbitration proceedings by entering into a Litigation Management Agreement (“LMA”). Under the LMA, Almaden will bear the up-front costs of the arbitration and provide overall direction to the arbitration process for itself and its subsidiaries, as well as Almadex and its subsidiaries, with certain limitations. Almadex will remain a party to the arbitration and continue in its cooperation and support of the process. As noted above, Almaden has already secured litigation funding in the amount anticipated to be needed to fully prosecute the arbitration proceedings.

Should the arbitration proceedings result in an award of damages, the pro rata portion of those damages, if any, which may be attributable to Almadex from the 2.0% NSR royalty it held on the Ixtaca project will be determined. Almadex’s award will consist of this pro rata portion, less its pro rata share of the costs of pursuing the legal claims, including the financing costs (the “Almadex Award”). Almadex will compensate Almaden in the amount of 10% of the Almadex Award in exchange for managing the claim proceedings.

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain of the statements and information in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian provincial securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements or information. Forward-looking statements or information in this news release relate to, among other things, the total potential cost of the legal claims and the sufficiency of the money available under the LFA to cover these costs, the ability of the LMA to streamline corporate management of the legal claims, and the result and damages arising from the Company’s request for arbitration.

These forward-looking statements and information reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant legal, regulatory, business, operational and economic uncertainties and contingencies, and such uncertainty generally increases with longer-term forecasts and outlook. These assumptions include: stability and predictability in Mexico’s response to the arbitration process under the CPTPP; stability and predictability in the application of the CPTPP and arbitral decisions thereon; the ability to continue to finance the arbitration process, and continued respect for the rule of law in Mexico. The foregoing list of assumptions is not exhaustive.

The Company cautions the reader that forward-looking statements and information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information contained in this news release. Such risks and other factors include, among others, risks related to: the application of the CPTPP and arbitral decisions thereon; continued respect for the rule of law in Mexico; political risk in Mexico; crime and violence in Mexico; corruption in Mexico; uncertainty as to the outcome of arbitration; as well as those factors discussed the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Almaden's Annual Information Form and Almaden's latest Form 20-F on file with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could affect the Company and may cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements or information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that our forward-looking statements or information will prove to be accurate. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. Except as required by law, the Company does not assume any obligation to release publicly any revisions to on forward-looking statements or information contained in this news release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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Wordsmith Raises $5M to Empower Lawyers to Scale with AI

By Harry Moran |

Wordsmith, the AI-powered legal assistant platform, has raised $5 million to transform the legal industry and unleash a new generation of hyper-skilled legal professionals.

The seed funding was led by Index Ventures, with participation from General Catalyst and angel investors including Skyscanner founder Gareth Williams. The investment is a sign of how applied AI is rapidly augmenting and enabling professional services – a shift as profound as the transition to digital devices and word processing 40 years ago.

“AI is not about replacing professionals. It's about making them better at their jobs,” explains Wordsmith CEO Ross McNairn. “Just as the word processor didn't replace writers, but instead made them more productive, Wordsmith is ushering in a new era of AI-assisted professional services.”

Wordsmith is solving a critical problem faced by in-house legal teams: the overwhelming volume of routine tasks that leave lawyers struggling to keep up with the demands of the business. From confirming policy details to contract analysis and complex financing, the demand for human judgment and the consequences of oversight are high – yet many of the outputs are repeatable and templated. Wordsmith customers get 90% of the through-put of a world-class lawyer and a 99% cost reduction versus going to a law firm, all within 60 seconds.

Hannah Seal, the partner at Index Ventures who led the investment, says: “Wordsmith is at the vanguard of a fundamental shift in how professional services are delivered. It’s not about replacement but augmentation. By harnessing the power of generative AI, they're not only transforming the legal industry, but also paving the way for a future in which AI-assisted professionals can provide better, faster, and more affordable services to their clients.”

Wordsmith was founded in 2023 by Ross McNairn, Volodymyr Giginiak and Robbie Falkenthal. After training as a lawyer, McNairn sold his first startup to Skyscanner in 2016 and most recently was Chief Product and Technology Officer at Travelperk. CTO Giginiak, one of the first engineers at Meta in London who worked for a decade in key roles at Facebook and Instagram, was helping to implement anti-drone technology for the Ukrainian army before joining Wordsmith. Robbie Falkenthal, COO, is a qualified lawyer who has previously held senior roles at KPMG and Travelperk.For additional information regarding Wordsmith visit and follow on LinkedIn.

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Nakiki SE: New Litigation Funding Agreement, Value in Dispute EUR 5 Million: Funding for Defendant

By Harry Moran |

Nakiki SE announces that Legal Finance International GmbH has concluded a litigation financing agreement with a value in dispute of up to EUR 5 million. This litigation financing agreement relates to funding for the defendant:

In selected individual cases, Legal Finance also finances the legal costs of the opposing party or defendant and, in the event of victory, receives twice the legal costs incurred as well as a staggered one-off payment as a premium. In this case, the premium can be up to EUR 785,000.

Johnsallee 30
20148 Hamburg

Andreas Wegerich, CEO Nakiki

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Armadillo Litigation Funding Welcomes Nicole Bakare, Esq. as New Managing Director

By Harry Moran |

Armadillo Litigation Funding, a premier and trusted alternative asset class litigation funding company, is pleased to announce the appointment of Nicole Bakare, Esq. as the new Managing Director. In this role, Ms. Bakare will enhance and expand the underlying credit offering of the company's platform and assist in monitoring current portfolios, contributing to the strategic growth and success of the firm and its clients.

Ms. Bakare joins Armadillo Litigation Funding from the Houston office of a large multinational law firm, where she represented corporate clients across a variety of industries in all phases of civil litigation, including state and federal courts, arbitration, and bankruptcy-related litigation. Her extensive experience and dedication to excellence make her a valuable addition to the Armadillo team.

"We are thrilled to have Nicole Bakare join our team," said Jeff Manley, Chief Operating Officer of Armadillo Litigation Funding. "Her legal expertise and strategic insight will be instrumental in driving our investment evaluation processes and enhancing our portfolio, ultimately benefiting the firms we serve by providing more effective and targeted funding solutions."

Ms. Bakare is a graduate of The University of Michigan and Tulane University Law School. She has been a member of the State Bar of Texas since 2006. Throughout her career, she has held prominent positions at Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Cozen O'Connor; Doyle, Restrepo, Harvin & Robbins LLP; and served as a briefing attorney to Justice Evelyn V. Keyes at the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas.

Ms. Bakare expressed her enthusiasm about joining Armadillo Litigation Funding, stating, "I am honored to join Armadillo Litigation Funding, a firm renowned for its excellence and commitment to providing top-tier funding solutions in the complex litigation space," said Nicole Bakare. "I look forward to leveraging my experience to support our clients and help drive their success through strategic investment evaluation and dedicated service."

For more information about Armadillo Litigation Funding and its services, please visit

About Armadillo Litigation Funding: Armadillo Litigation Funding is a leading provider of alternative asset class funding in mass tort, consumer, and commercial litigation. Armadillo offers general obligation loans secured by the borrowers' interests in current and future awards, including, but not limited to, contingent fees.

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Chambers & Partners Release its Litigation Support Guide for 2024

By Harry Moran |

The Chambers & Partners rankings provide an annual guide to the top firms in each region and practice area, as well as highlighting the established industry leaders alongside the rising stars to watch in these companies.

Today, Chambers & Partners released its Chambers Litigation Support Guide for 2024, which includes rankings for 337 individual practitioners and more than 376 firms, including practice areas such as litigation funding, forensic accounting, business intelligence and investigations, and PR and communications. 

In the Global-wide ranking covering litigation funding for international arbitration, Chambers ranked 11 firms across three bands. Burford Capital, Litigation Capital Management, Therium Capital Management, Fortress Investment Group, and Omni Bridgeway are listed in Band 1. Bench Walk Advisors, Harbour Litigation Funding, Parabellum Capital, and Nivalion are listed in Band 2. Profile Management and Tenor Capital Management are the two firms listed in Band 3.

The guide also contains regional litigation funding rankings for Australia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, South-East Asia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Across several of these regions, the guide also provides rankings for litigation funding brokers, insurers, and underwriters.

A new addition to this year’s guide is the rankings for Litigation Finance Deal Counsel in the USA, with these rankings recognising ‘law firms advising on litigation funding agreements.’ This ranking includes Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein and Schulte Roth & Zabel in Band 1, with Levenfeld Pearlstein, Much Shelist, and McDonald Hopkins in Band 2.All the rankings can be accessed through the Chambers Litigation Support Guide hub.

Erso Capital Funding £382M Claim Against Salmon Producers’ Price-Fixing Cartel

By Harry Moran |

The funding of UK class action lawsuits appears to be once again gaining momentum, as following LFJ’s reporting last week on an £878 million opt-out claim brought against Royal Mail, there has now been the announcement of a new £382 million claim targeting some of the world’s largest salmon producers.

Reporting from The Guardian covers the filing of a new collective action proceeding order filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) last Thursday. This opt-out claim is being brought on behalf of UK consumers, and is targeting six salmon producers over allegations that they breached competition law by colluding to increase the price of farmed Atlantic salmon. The ‘salmon claim’ is seeking up to £382 million in compensation for consumers who bought these salmon products between October 2015 and May 2019. The salmon producers accused of forming this price-fixing cartel are: Mowi, Mowi Holdings, SalMar, Lerøy, Scottish Sea Farms and Grieg.

The claim has been filed by Waterside Class Limited, a company set up to bring this claim on behalf of UK consumers, with Anne Heal acting as the class representative. The claim is being represented by Simmons & Simmons, along with Sarah Abram KC and Matthew Kennedy of Brick Court Chambers, and Camilla Cockerill of 4 New Square Chambers. Waterside has also secured funding for the claim from Erso Capital, along with litigation insurance protection.

Heal, who previously led the Thames Water customer challenge group, said: “This action claims that some of the Atlantic salmon farming industry’s biggest companies have conspired to raid the wallets of hard-working shoppers. This action aims to seek fair redress for the millions of British consumers who we say spent years overpaying for one of the UK’s favourite and highly nutritious foods.”

Of the six salmon producers targeted in the claim, three did not provide a comment to The Guardian, Mowi denied that it had engaged in anti-competitive behaviour, whilst Grieg Seafood similarly denied any wrongdoing and stated they would “exercise all our rights of defence”. 

Salmar provided the most thorough response, with a spokesperson for the company stating: “SalMar is aware of the planned legal action on behalf of the UK consumers. SalMar disputes strongly the allegations of price fixing and notes that the European Commission has not reached any final decision on its investigation. SalMar contests all of these allegations and will defend vigorously any legal proceedings brought against it in the UK.”For information about the claim, read the press release from Waterside or visit the claim website.

Louisiana Governor Signs Litigation Funding Transparency Bill

By Harry Moran |

As LFJ reported earlier this month, the push for state-level regulation of the litigation finance industry has continued to make progress, with a bill in the Louisiana legislature now set to become law in just over a month. 

An article in Bloomberg Law covers the news that Louisiana’s governor Jeff Landry has signed Senate Bill 355 into law, which introduces new measures regulating the use of litigation finance in Louisiana. The bill primarily focuses on two areas of regulation: the disclosure of third-party litigation funding, and the involvement of foreign persons, states or wealth funds in third-party funding.

SB355 requires any foreign litigation funder involved in a civil action in Louisiana to disclose its details to the state’s attorney general (AG), and to provide the AG with a copy of the funding agreement. The bill also prohibits funders from controlling the legal action in any way, and from being ‘assigned rights in a civil action for which the litigation funder has provided funding’.

Gov. Landry signed the bill on June 19 and it will become effective from August 1. The full text of SB355 can be read here.

ILFA Seeking to Hire Director of Global Public Affairs and Executive Director

By Harry Moran |

In a series of posts on LinkedIn, the International Legal Finance Association (ILFA) announced that it is looking to fill two roles at the organisation: Director of Global Public Affairs and an Executive Director.

For the position of Director of Global Public Affairs, ILFA states that it is seeking ‘a motivated public affairs and policy professional looking to help facilitate the development and growth of the commercial legal finance industry and drive the success of ILFA’s priority areas’. The responsibilities for this role include: developing and implementing strategy to achieve ILFA’s policy objectives, facilitating discussions to increase education around legal finance, and managing ILFA’s external government affairs and communications consultants. The position is based in Washington, DC and will report to ILFA’s Board of Directors.

For the role of Executive Director, ILFA said that it is looking for ‘an experienced executive-level leader passionate about the intersection of law and finance who will work with top commercial legal finance companies and influential leaders’. The key responsibilities for the incoming director will include: driving ILFA’s membership growth and retention, expanding and maintaining ILFA’s funding sources and revenue streams, and organising ILFA’s industry events. The position is based in London, UK and will also report to ILFA’s Board of Directors.

The full job descriptions for each of the roles can be found at the following links: 

Director, Global Public Affairs 
Executive Director

In order to apply for either of these roles, applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to ILFA's Acting Executive Director Shannon Campagna at before the deadline of July 31.

Navigating the Legal Landscape: Best Practices for Implementing AI

By Anthony Johnson |

The following article was contributed by Anthony Johnson, CEO of the Johnson Firm and Stellium.

The ascent of AI in law firms has thrust the intricate web of complexities and legal issues surrounding their implementation into the spotlight. As law firms grapple with the delicate balance between innovation and ethical considerations, they are tasked with navigating the minefield of AI ethics, AI bias, and synthetic data. Nevertheless, within these formidable challenges, law firms are presented with a singular and unparalleled opportunity to shape the landscape of AI law, copyright ownership decisively, and AI human rights.

Conducting Due Diligence on AI Technologies

Law firms embarking on the integration of AI into their practices must commence with conducting comprehensive due diligence. This process entails a precise evaluation of the AI technology's origins, development process, and the integrity of the data utilized for training. Safeguarding that the AI systems adopted must be meticulously developed with legally sourced and unbiased data sets. This measure is the linchpin in averting potential ethical or legal repercussions. It is especially paramount to be acutely mindful of the perils posed by AI bias and AI hallucination, both of which have the potential to undermine the fairness and credibility of legal outcomes.

Guidelines must decisively address the responsible use of AI, encompassing critical issues related to AI ethics, AI law, and copyright ownership. Furthermore, defining the scope of AI's decision-making power within legal cases is essential to avert any over-reliance on automated processes. By setting these boundaries, law firms demonstrate compliance with existing legal standards and actively shape the development of new norms in the rapidly evolving realm of legal AI.

Training and Awareness Programs for Lawyers

Implementing AI tech in law firms isn't just a technical challenge; it's also a cultural shift. Regular training and awareness programs must be conducted to ensure responsible and effective use. These programs should focus on legal tech training, providing lawyers and legal staff with a deep understanding of AI capabilities and limitations. Addressing ethical AI use and the implications of AI on human rights in daily legal tasks is also required. Empowering legal teams with knowledge and tools will enhance their technological competence and drive positive change.

Risks and Ethical Considerations of Using AI in Legal Practices

Confidentiality and Data Privacy Concerns

The integration of AI within legal practices presents substantial risks concerning confidentiality and data privacy. Law firms entrusted with handling sensitive information must confront the stark reality that the deployment of AI technologies directly threatens client confidentiality if mishandled. AI systems' insatiable appetite for large datasets during training lays bare the potential for exposing personal client data to unauthorized access or breaches. Without question, unwaveringly robust data protection measures must be enacted to safeguard trust and uphold the legal standards of confidentiality.

Intellectual Property and Copyright Issues

The pivotal role of AI in content generation has ignited intricate debates surrounding intellectual property rights and copyright ownership. As AI systems craft documents and materials, determining rightful ownership—be it the AI, the developer, or the law firm—emerges as a fiercely contested matter. This not only presents legal hurdles but also engenders profound ethical deliberations concerning the attribution and commercialization of AI-generated content within the legal domain.

Bias and Discrimination in AI Outputs

The critical risk looms large: the potential for AI to perpetuate or even exacerbate biases. AI systems, mere reflections of the data they are trained on, stand as monuments to the skewed training materials that breed discriminatory outcomes. This concern is especially poignant in legal practices, where the mandate for fair and impartial decisions reigns supreme. Addressing AI bias is not just important; it is imperative to prevent the unjust treatment of individuals based on flawed or biased AI assessments, thereby upholding the irrefutable principles of justice and equality in legal proceedings.

Worst Case Scenarios: The Legal Risks and Pitfalls of Misusing AI

Violations of Client Confidentiality

The most egregious risk lies in the potential violation of client confidentiality. Law firms that dare to integrate AI tools must guarantee that these systems are absolutely impervious to breaches that could compromise sensitive information. Without the most stringent security measures, AI dares to inadvertently leak client data, resulting in severe legal repercussions and the irrevocable loss of client trust. This scenario emphatically underscores the necessity for robust data protection protocols in all AI deployments.

Intellectual Property Issues

The misuse of AI inevitably leads to intricate intellectual property disputes. As AI systems possess the capability to generate legal documents and other intellectual outputs, the question of copyright ownership—whether it pertains to the AI, the law firm, or the original data providers—becomes a source of contention. Mismanagement in this domain can precipitate costly litigation, thrusting law firms into the task of navigating a labyrinth of AI law and copyright ownership issues. It is important that firms assertively delineate ownership rights in their AI deployment strategies to circumvent these potential pitfalls preemptively.

Ethical Breaches and Professional Misconduct

The reckless application of AI in legal practices invites ethical breaches and professional misconduct. Unmonitored AI systems presume to make decisions, potentially flouting the ethical standards decreed by legal authorities. The specter of AI bias looms large, capable of distorting decision-making in an unjust and discriminatory manner. Law firms must enforce stringent guidelines and conduct routine audits of their AI tools to uphold ethical compliance, thereby averting any semblance of professional misconduct that could mar their esteemed reputation and credibility.

Case Studies: Success and Cautionary Tales in AI Implementation

Successful AI Integrations in Law Firms

The legal industry has witnessed numerous triumphant AI integrations that have set the gold standard for technology adoption, unequivocally elevating efficiency and accuracy. Take, for example, a prominent U.S. law firm that fearlessly harnessed AI to automate document analysis for litigation cases, substantially reducing lawyers' document review time while magnifying the precision of findings. Not only did this optimization revolutionize the workflow, but it also empowered attorneys to concentrate on more strategic tasks, thereby enhancing client service and firm profitability. In another case, an international law firm adopted AI-driven predictive analytics to forecast litigation outcomes. This tool provided unprecedented precision in advising clients on the feasibility of pursuing or settling cases, strengthening client trust and firm reputation. These examples highlight the transformative potential of AI when integrated into legal frameworks.


Integrating AI within the legal sector is an urgent reality that law firms cannot ignore. While the ascent of AI presents complex challenges, it also offers an unparalleled opportunity to shape AI law, copyright ownership, and AI human rights. To successfully implement AI in legal practices, due diligence on AI technologies, training programs for lawyers, and establishing clear guidelines and ethical standards are crucial. However, risks and moral considerations must be carefully addressed, such as confidentiality and data privacy concerns, intellectual property and copyright issues, and bias and discrimination in AI outputs. Failure to do so can lead to violations of client confidentiality and costly intellectual property disputes. By navigating these risks and pitfalls, law firms can harness the transformative power of AI while upholding legal standards and ensuring a fair and just legal system.

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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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