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News and analysis dedicated to the commercial litigation funding sector including regulatory issues, case developments, funding activities, and more.

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CaseMark Secures $1.7 Million Seed Funding Led by Gradient Ventures to Revolutionize Legal Workflows with Generative AI

By Harry Moran |

CaseMark AI, a pioneer in legal generative AI workflows, today announced the closing of a $1.7 million seed funding round led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused seed fund. Additional participation came from Rex Salisbury‘s Cambrian, Ride Home AI Fund and Alumni Ventures. The funding will drive the company’s mission to help legal professionals benefit from the efficiency and productivity of generative AI.

CaseMark’s AI-powered legal workflows address automating time-consuming tasks like document summarization, research, and legal analysis. This frees up valuable time for legal professionals to focus on high-value activities such as client strategy and casework.

CaseMark’s platform is modular, web-based, and easy-to-deploy. Unlike legacy legal tech, it seamlessly integrates into existing legal workflows such as deposition summaries or discovery responses, minimizing disruption and maximizing user adoption. The built-in chat tool allows legal professionals to query their case content in a secure, privacy first environment. 

“We’re the AI easy button that won’t get attorneys in trouble,” said Scott Kveton, CEO of CaseMark. “Hours spent summarizing take minutes now. That time saved can be reclaimed to work on legal strategy,” said Kveton, highlighting the platform’s efficiency gains.

“The rise of generative AI is transforming the legal landscape. Attorneys are now leveraging AI tools to sift through vast amounts of documents and automate time-consuming tasks like summarizing lengthy court transcripts. Casemark is at the forefront of this movement, offering an innovative solution for quickly and accurately generating summaries of depositions, cases, and trials,” said Denise Teng, Investor at Gradient Ventures. “Casemark’s platform has the potential to streamline legal work, making it more efficient and cost-effective for everyone from solo practitioners, large law firms to legal tech companies. We’re proud to support Scott and his team as they redefine legal tech.”

“For generative AI to succeed in legal workflows, it needs to perform reliably and cost efficiently. With CaseMark’s LLM-agnostic architecture and mixture-of-experts approach, they can deliver best-in-class results at a fraction of the cost of their well-funded competitors. It’s game on.” stated Chris Messina, inventor of the hashtag and GP at the Ride Home AI Fund.

The seed funding will accelerate CaseMark’s product development, expand its team of AI and legal experts, and drive adoption of its AI-powered legal workflows among law firms, legaltech companies, court reporting and litigation services firms.

“CaseMark has demonstrated incredible speed in bringing a high quality product to market, delivering real value for their clients. I look forward to seeing how continued enhancements in underlying models allows the team to do even more.” said Rex Salisbury. 

The CaseMark Workflow API enables access to all of CaseMark’s AI-powered workflows via a white-label integration for legal tech companies and litigation support firms. Companies can leverage the AI-as-infrastructure service provided by CaseMark to increase time-to-market and maximize revenue for the most common attorney use cases.

ABOUT GRADIENT VENTURES

Gradient Ventures has been investing at the forefront of artificial intelligence since 2017. We are led by former founders, technical experts, and domain specialists, who know how to take an idea to product-market-fit and beyond. Gradient Ventures is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit www.gradient.com.

ABOUT CASEMARKCaseMark is a pioneer in the legaltech industry, dedicated to transforming the way legal professionals work. Our AI-driven workflow platform streamlines document creation, research, and workflow management for law firms, litigators, and support services. With a focus on privacy, security, and innovation, CaseMark empowers legal professionals to maximize efficiency and deliver exceptional outcomes for their clients. Learn more at www.casemark.ai.

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Nakiki SE: New litigation financing agreements: EUR 3 million, option volume EUR 1.5 million

By Harry Moran |

Nakiki SE, in future Legal Finance Holding SE, announces 3 new litigation financing agreements:

Real estate purchase agreement:

The seller of non-EU real estate with a value of EUR 10 million suffered damages of approximately EUR 2.3 million as a result of a cancelled property purchase agreement. Legal Finance entered into a litigation funding agreement with the seller to pursue the claim.

Sports car accident:

A policyholder suffered damage in a serious car accident and the insurance company refused to pay the claim for approximately EUR 700,000. Legal Finance entered into a litigation funding agreement with the policyholder to pursue the claim.

Loan agreements:

A borrower refused to repay business loans totalling approximately EUR 550,000. Legal Finance entered into a litigation funding agreement with the lender to enforce the outstanding payments.

The total amount in dispute of the new litigation financing agreements is approximately EUR 3.5 million (excluding costs and interest). The option volume is approximately EUR 1.5 million.

Additional cases are under review.

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Burford Capital Expected to Join Russell 3000® and 2000® Indexes

By Harry Moran |

Burford Capital, the leading global finance firm focused on law, is expected to join the broad-market Russell 3000® and small-cap Russell 2000® Indexes at the conclusion of the 2024 Russell US Indexes annual reconstitution, effective after the US market opens on July 1, 2024, according to a preliminary list of additions posted on May 24, 2024. Burford is the first legal finance firm to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the first legal finance firm expected to join the Russell 3000® and 2000® Indexes. Legal finance is an emerging asset class generally uncorrelated to market conditions or the performance of the overall economy.

Burford’s inclusion in the Russell 3000® and 2000® Indexes reinforces its continued growth both with its investors and with its clients, which include Fortune 500 companies and many of the world’s largest law firms. Burford, which celebrates its 15th anniversary in October 2024, helps clients shift the cost of their commercial disputes as well as manage the risk and optimize the timing of the often-significant cash flows associated with pending claims, judgments and awards. The company has a multi-billion dollar portfolio, and in 2023, a Burford-funded case against Argentina involving the renationalization of Argentina’s oil company, YPF, resulted in the largest judgment in the history of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, with the court awarding plaintiffs approximately $16 billion in damages.

Christopher Bogart, CEO of Burford Capital, said: “Since its founding in 2009, Burford has deployed billions of dollars to the business of law, and we’re continuing to see growing demand from CFOs, GCs and other business leaders who recognize that they can use legal finance to turn the legal department from a cost center to a capital source, including a recent $325 million Group-wide commitment with a Fortune 50 company. Joining the Russell 3000® and 2000® Indexes is an exciting moment for Burford, and we are proud to continue on a trajectory of growth and increasing visibility to clients and investors alike.”

Russell indexes are widely used by investment managers and institutional investors for index funds and as benchmarks for active investment strategies. According to the data as of the end of December 2023, about $10.5 trillion in assets are benchmarked against the Russell US indexes.

About Burford Capital

Burford Capital is the leading global finance and asset management firm focused on law. Its businesses include litigation finance and risk management, asset recovery and a wide range of legal finance and advisory activities. Burford is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUR) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE: BUR), and it works with companies and law firms around the world from its offices in New York, London, Chicago, Washington, DC, Singapore, Dubai, Sydney and Hong Kong.
 
For more information, please visit www.burfordcapital.com.
 
This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any ordinary shares or other securities of Burford.

Forward-looking statements

This announcement contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, regarding assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions and beliefs about future events. These statements are intended as “forward-looking statements”. In some cases, predictive, future-tense or forward-looking words such as “aim”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “continue”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “forecast”, “guidance”, “intend”, “may”, “plan”, “potential”, “predict”, “projected”, “should” or “will” or the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. Burford cautions that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are based on numerous assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions and beliefs and that Burford’s actual results of operations, including its financial position and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which it operates, may differ materially from (and be more negative than) those made in, or suggested by, the forward-looking statements contained in this announcement. Except as required by law, Burford undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained in this announcement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Leading Finance Firm Secures Coveted Spot in European Litigation Funders Association (ELFA)

By John Freund |

A top-tier litigation finance firm has achieved a significant milestone by becoming a member of the prestigious European Litigation Funders Association (ELFA).

This development marks a strategic move for Nera Capital as it continues to solidify its position as a key player in the global litigation funding market.

With its headquarters in Dublin, along with offices in Manchester and The Netherlands, the company has earned a reputation for delivering innovative financial solutions and cutting-edge technology across a diverse range of claim types.

The company’s portfolio includes high-volume consumer disbursement funding in the UK and substantial commercial claims in both Europe and the USA.

This strategic membership in ELFA underscores Nera Capital’s commitment to fostering ethical and effective litigation funding practices.

The ELFA is a collective of like-minded professionals from the litigation funding industry whose management committee is formed by representatives from the original founding companies, Deminor, Nivalion and Omni Bridgeway.

To become a member, firms need to have demonstrated excellence in the sector and a proven track record of deploying a significant amount of capital into the market.

Aisling Byrne, Director at Nera Capital, expressed her delight at this milestone, stating: “We are very pleased to join the European Litigation Funders Association.

“As a member, we look forward to collaborating with industry peers, sharing our wealth of experience, and contributing to the advancement of ethical and effective litigation funding practices across Europe.

“It positions us to advocate for transparency and promote higher industry standards that benefit all stakeholders involved. We believe our involvement will drive positive change and reinforce the essential role of litigation funding in delivering access to justice.”

Nera Capital’s membership in ELFA comes at a pivotal time when the litigation funding market is experiencing rapid growth.

By aligning with ELFA, Nera Capital is poised to play a crucial role in shaping the future of the industry, and the importance of litigation funding.

Wieger Wielinga, Managing Director of Omni Bridgeway and Chairman of ELFA, welcomed the company’s membership, noting the significance of their inclusion:

“With its roots in Ireland, the only Common Law EU country, Nera Capital operates in several EU jurisdictions as well as the UK.

“ELFA is thrilled to have another experienced funder on board, further enabling us to develop best practices for assisting claimants, insolvency trustees and consumer organisations and law firms across Europe.

“The addition of Nera to ELFA will also enhance our ability to advocate for the funding industry and its invaluable role in delivering access to justice across Europe.”

About Nera Capital:

·        Established in 2011, Nera Capital is a specialist funding provider to law firms.

·        Provides Law Firm Lend funding across diverse claim portfolios in both the Consumer and Commercial sector.

  • Headquartered in Dublin, the firm also has offices in Manchester and The Netherlands.

·        Nera Capital is dedicated to facilitating the setup of class actions and group actions to promote equitable access to justice for individuals and interest groups. With a proven track record, Nera Capital has spearheaded numerous impactful claims, empowering clients to achieve legal redress in cases such as Housing Disrepair Claims, where vulnerable claimants lack the means to address their grievances effectively. Additionally, Nera Capital has played a pivotal role in supporting claims like the Trucking Cartel case in Europe, assisting in exposing evidence of anti-competitive behaviour by manufacturers. Through its strategic interventions and advanced AI capabilities, Nera Capital continues to champion fairness and accountability in the legal landscape. 

·       www.nerecapital.com

About The European Litigation Funders Association (ELFA):

·        ELFA was founded by three leading litigation funders with a European footprint and today includes the vast majority of EU based litigation funders. ELFA was established to serve as the voice of the commercial litigation funding industry operating from within the EU member states. With the objective of representing the industry’s interests before governmental bodies, international organisations and professional associations, ELFA 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.

·        www.elfassociation.eu

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Member Spotlight: Tamar Katamadze

By John Freund |

Tamar is an underwriter in the Political Risk division at Mosaic Insurance and, among other things, responsible for developing Mosaic’s Arbitration Award Default Insurance (AADI) worldwide after previously supporting transactional liability division. In prior positions, she worked as a senior lawyer at JSC Georgian State Electrosystem in Georgia, representing the company in the European Union, and later, as an associate at Fridman Law Firm PLLC in New York. She started her career at Georgia’s Ministry of Economy & Sustainable Development, where she represented the government in courts, with a particular focus on complex commercial litigation.

Mosaic Insurance is a global specialty insurer with exceptional expertise, a focus on complex products, and an award-winning, digitized operating model. Mosaic Insurance underwrites for trade clients alongside we own Lloyd’s Syndicate 1609—offering capacity and custom service across seven lines of business in seven countries.

Company Website: https://www.mosaicinsurance.com/

Year Founded:  2021

Headquarters:  Bermuda

Area of Focus:  Arbitration Award Default Insurance Product

Member Quote: We believe that our new product revolutionizes the landscape for litigation funders investing in international arbitration, providing funds with certainty and effectively managing the value of their investments.

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Bank Lending Vs. Alternative Litigation Finance: A Mass Tort Attorney’s Strategic Opportunity

By Jeff Manley |

The following post was contributed by Jeff Manley, Chief Operating Officer of Armadillo Litigation Funding

Mass tort litigation is a high-stakes world, one where the pursuit of justice is inextricably linked with financial resources and risk management. In this complex ecosystem, two financial pillars stand out: bank lending and alternative litigation finance. For attorneys and their financial partners in mass torts, choosing the right financial strategy can mean the difference between success and stagnation.

The Evolving Financial Landscape for Mass Tort Attorneys

Gone are the days when a powerful legal argument alone could secure the means to wage a war against industrial giants. Today, financial acumen is as critical to a law firm’s success as legal prowess. For mass tort attorneys, funding large-scale litigations is akin to orchestrating a multifaceted campaign with the potential for astronomical payouts, but also the very real costs that come with such undertakings.

Under the lens of the courtroom, the financing of mass tort cases presents a unique set of challenges. These cases often require substantial upfront capital and can extend over years, if not decades. In such an environment, agility, sustainability, and risk management emerge as strategic imperatives.

Navigating these waters demands a deep understanding of two pivotal financing models: traditional bank lending and the more contemporary paradigm of third-party litigation finance.

The Need for Specialized Financial Solutions in Mass Tort Litigation

The financial demands of mass tort litigation are unique. They necessitate solutions that are as flexible as they are formidable, capable of weathering the uncertainty of litigation outcomes. Portfolio risk management, a concept well-established in the investment world, has found its parallel in the legal arena, where it plays a pivotal role in driving growth and longevity for law firms.

The overarching goal for mass tort practices is to structure their financial arrangements in such a way that enables not just the funding of current cases but the foresight to invest in future opportunities. In this context, the question of bank lending versus alternative asset class litigation finance is more than transactional—it’s transformational.

Understanding Bank Lending

Banks have long been the bedrock of corporate financing, offering stability and a familiar process. While bank lending presents several advantages, such as the potential for lower interest rates in favorable economic environments, it also comes with significant caveats. The traditional model often involves stringent loan structures, personal guarantees, and an inflexibility that can constrain the scalability of funding when litigation timelines shift or case resolutions become protracted.

For attorneys seeking immediate capital, interest-only lines of credit can be appealing, providing a temporary reprieve on principal payments. However, the long-term financial impact and personal liability underpinning these loans cannot be overlooked.

Exploring Third-Party Litigation Finance

On the flip side, third-party litigation finance has emerged as a beacon of adaptability within the legal financing landscape. By eschewing traditional collateral requirements and personal guarantees, this model reduces the personal financial risk for attorneys. More significantly, it does so while tailoring financing terms to individual cases and firm needs, thus improving the alignment between funding structures and litigation timelines.

Litigation financiers also bring a wealth of experience and industry-specific knowledge to the table. They are partners in the truest sense, offering strategic foresight, risk management tools, and a shared goal in the litigation’s success.

Interest Rates and Financial Terms

The choice between bank lending and third-party litigation finance often hinges on the amount of attainable capital, interest rates, and the terms, conditions, and covenants of the loans. These differences can significantly influence the overall cost of financing and the strategic financial planning for mass tort litigation.

Bank Lending: Traditional bank loans typically offer lower initial interest rates, which can be attractive for short-term financing needs. However, these rates are almost always variable and linked to broader economic indicators, such as the prime rate. Banks are very conservative in every aspect of underwriting and the commitments they offer.

Third-Party Litigation Finance: In contrast, third-party litigation lenders often require a multiple payback, such as 2x or 3x the original amount borrowed. Some third-party lenders also offer floating rate loans tied to SOFR, but the interest costs are meaningfully higher than those of banks. The trade-off is greater access to capital. Third-party lenders, deeply entrenched in industry nuances, are generally willing to lend substantially larger amounts of capital. For attorneys managing long-duration cases, this variability introduces a layer of financial uncertainty. If a loan has a floating rate and the duration of the underlying torts is materially extended, the actual borrowing cost can skyrocket, negatively impacting the overall returns of a final settlement. This is an incredibly important factor to understand both at the outset of a transaction and during the initial stages of capital deployment.

Similarly, the maturity, terms, and conditions can differ drastically between bank-sourced loans and those from third-party lenders, with no standard list of boilerplate terms for comparison—making a knowledgeable financial partner key to facilitating the best fit for the law firm. Two standard features of a bank credit facility are that the entire portfolio of all law firm assets is usually required to secure the loan, regardless of size, and an unbreakable personal guarantee further secures the entire credit facility. Both of these points are potentially negotiable with a third-party lender. Bank loans are almost always one-year facilities with the bank having an explicit right to reassess their interest in maintaining a credit facility with the law firm every 12 months. In contrast, third-party lenders typically enter into a credit facility with a commitment for 4-5 years, with terms becoming bespoke beyond these basics.

Loan Structures Under Scrutiny

The rigidity of bank loan structures, particularly notice provisions and speed of access, contrasts with the fluidity of third-party financiers’ offerings. The ability to negotiate terms based on case outcomes, as afforded by the alternative financing model, represents a paradigm shift in financial planning that has redefined the playbook for mass tort investors.

Risk at Its Core

The linchpin of this comparison is risk management. Banks often require a traditional, property-based collateral, which serves as a blunt instrument for risk reduction in the context of litigation. Third-party financiers, conversely, indulge in sophisticated evaluations and often adopt models of shared risk, where their fortunes are inversely tied to those of the litigants.

Support Beyond Capital

A crucial divergence between bank loans and alternative finance is the depth of support provided. The former confines its assistance to financial matters, while the latter, through its specialized knowledge, contributes significantly to strategic case management, risk assessment, and valuation, essentially elevating itself to the level of a silent partner in the legal endeavor. Furthermore, litigation funders (unlike banks), are often prepared to extend multiple installments of capital, reflecting a level of risk tolerance and industry insight that banks typically do not offer.

Case Studies and Success Stories

The case for alternative litigation finance is perhaps best illustrated through the experiences of attorneys who have successfully navigated the inextricable link between finance and litigation. The Litigation Finance Survey Report highlights the resounding recommendation from attorneys who have used third-party financing, with nearly all expressing a willingness to repeat the process and recommend it to peers.

This empirical evidence underscores the viability and efficacy of alternative financing models, showcasing how they can bolster the financial position of a firm and, consequently, its ability to take on new cases and grow its portfolio.

The Role of Litigation Finance Partners

When considering third-party litigation finance, the choice of partner is just as important as the decision to explore this path. Seasoned financiers offer more than just capital; they become an extension of the firm’s strategic muscle, sharing in risks and rewards to galvanize a litigation (and practice) forward.

Cultivating these partnerships is an investment in expertise and a recognition of the unique challenges presented by mass tort litigation. It is an integral part of modernizing the approach to case management, one that ultimately leads to a sustainable and robust financial framework.

For mass tort attorneys, the strategic use of finance can unlock the latent potential in their caseloads, transforming high-risk ventures into opportunities for growth and success. By carefully weighing the merits of traditional bank lending against the agility of third-party litigation financing, attorneys can carve out a strategic path that not only secures the necessary capital but also empowers them to manage risks and drive profitability.

One truth remains immutable: those who recognize the need for financial innovation and risk management will be the torchbearers for the future of mass tort litigators, where the scales of justice are balanced by a firm and strategic hand anchored in the principles of modern finance.

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PACCAR’s tidal wave effects: Understanding the Legal, Financial and Policy impacts of a highly controversial ruling

By Ana Carolina Salomao |

The following is a contributed piece by Ana Carolina Salomão, Leila Zoe-Mezoughi, Micaela Ossio Maguiña and Sarah Voulaz, of Pogust Goodhead.

This article follows our previous publication dated 10 October 2023 regarding the Supreme Court ruling in PACCAR[1] on third-party litigation funding agreements which, very simply put, decided that litigation funding agreements (“LFAs”), permitting funders to recover a percentage of damages, amounted to (“DBAs”) damages-based agreements by virtue of s.58AA of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (the “1990 Act”). As such, all LFAs (including those retrospectively drafted) were consequently required to comply with the Damages-Based Agreements Regulations 2013 (the “2013 Regulations”) or be deemed, unenforceable.

In this article, we explore the three main industry-wide changes that have arisen as a direct result of the PACCAR ruling:

  1. The diverse portfolio of LFA reformulation strategies deployed by litigation finance stakeholders.
  2.  The government response, both in terms of official statements and policy changes, which have ultimately led to the draft bill of 19 March 2024.
  3.  The wave of litigations subsequent to the PACCAR ruling, giving insight into the practical market consequences of the ruling.

Ultimately, the PACCAR impact and its proposed reversal has not undermined the UK litigation finance market, in fact the contrary; it has promoted visibility and adaptation of a litigation finance market that continues to gain significant traction in the UK. As a result, despite the concern shown by most UK industry stakeholders about the negative impacts of the PACCAR ruling, this article argues that proper regulation could indeed be highly advantageous, should it incentivise responsible investment, whilst protecting proper access to justice. However, the question does remain, will we ever get there?

The LFA reformulation storm.

As expected, the first reaction to PACCAR came from the litigation finance market. As anticipated, LFAs (those with an investor return formula based on a percentage of the damages recovered) are being amended by parties to avoid their potential unenforceability.

The majority of amendments being implemented are aimed to design valuation methodologies for the amount recovered, which are not directly related to the damages recovered, but are rather a function of some other metric or waterfall, therefore involving a process of alteration of pricing. The intention is for the agreements to fall out of the scope of the definition of ‘claims management services’ provided by section 58AA of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (CLSA), which stipulates two main criteria: (i) the funder is paid if the litigation succeeds, and (ii) the amount paid back to the funder is a function of the amounts recovered by the claimant in damages. As such, novel pricing structures such as charging the amount granted in third-party funding with accrued interest; a multiple of the funded amount; or even a fixed pre-agreed amount recovered in the form of a success fee, would not meet both criteria and would hence fall outside of the legal definition of claims management services. These options would avoid the risk of an LFA being bound to the same requirements of a DBA and potentially rendered unenforceable.[2]

Another option to render LFAs enforceable following PACCAR is of course to make these compliant to the definition of DBA provided in s.58AA(2) of the 1990 Act. As such, LFAs would be subjected to stringent statutory conditions as per the Damages-Based Agreements Regulations 2013 (the “2013 Regulations”). This option has however not been the most attractive for funders, firstly due to funders not necessarily conducting claims management services and, secondly, because LFAs would automatically become subject to highly stringent rules to structure the agreements and pursue recovery. For example, such LFAs would need to comply with the cap requirements outlined in the 2013 Regulations such as: 25% of damages (excluding damages for future care and loss) in personal injury cases, 35% on employment tribunal cases and 50% in all other cases.

Ultimately, it can be argued that the choice for restructuring a single LFA or a portfolio of LFAs will vary on a case-by-case basis. Those parties who find themselves at more advanced stages of proceedings will be disadvantaged due to the significant challenges they are likely to face in restructuring such LFAs. From the perspective of the legal sector, on the one hand, we can see an increase in law firms’ portfolio lending, whereby the return to funders is not directly related to damages recovered by the plaintiff. On the other hand, there are certain actors who are remaining only superficially affected by the ruling, such as all funding facilities supporting law firms which raise debt capital collateralised by contingent legal fees.

The introduction of the proposed bill by the government (which is discussed below), is a reflection of the enormous burden the Supreme Court ruling has placed on critical litigation funder stakeholders who are likely to have invested disproportionate sums to amend their LFAs and restructure their litigation portfolios. However, the bill has also given momentum to the sector and is helping to highlight the importance of diversification in litigation funding to protect the interests of low-income claimants. The medium-term net balance of the regulation might be rendered positive if redirected at perfecting and not prohibiting third-party funding agreements to protect access to justice.

The UK Government Intervention.

The UK government has raised concerns regarding the legal and financial impacts of PACCAR relatively swiftlyfollowingthe 26 July 2023 judgement. Their first response to PACCAR came from the Department of Business and Trade (DBT) at the end of August 2023. The DBT stated that, being aware of the Supreme Court decision in PACCAR, it would be “looking at all available options to bring clarity to all interested parties.[3]

In the context of opt-out collective proceedings before CAT, the government proposed in November 2023 amendments to the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill (DMCC) through the introduction of clause 126, which sought to implement changes to the Competition Act 1998 (CA) to provide that an LFA would not count as a DBA in the context of opt-out collective proceedings in the CAT. This proposal came from the understanding that after PACCAR opt-out collective proceedings would face even greater challenges considering that under c.47C(8) of the CA 1998 DBAs are unenforceable when relating to opt-out proceedings. Proposals for additional amendments to the DMCC soon followed, many of which await final reading and approval by the House of Lords. However, in December 2023 Lord Sandhurst (Guy Mansfield KC) noted that while amendments to the DMCC would mitigate PACCAR’s impact on LFAs for opt-out collective proceedings in the CAT, “the key issue is that the Supreme Court’s PACCAR ruling affects LFAs in all courts, not just in the CAT, and not just, as this clause 126 is designed to address, in so-called opt-out cases.”

As a response to this, the Ministry of Justice announced last March that the government intended to extend the approach taken for opt-out collective proceedings in the CAT to all forms of legal proceedings in England and Wales by removing LFAs from the DBAs category entirely. The statement promised to enact new legislation which would “help people pursuing claims against big businesses secure funding to take their case to court”and“allow third parties to fund legal cases on behalf of the public in order to access justice and hold corporates to account”.[4]

Following this announcement, the Litigation Funding Agreements (Enforceability) Bill was published and introduced to the House of Lords. As promised by the government’s previous statements, the primary purpose of the Bill is to prevent the unenforceability of legitimate LFAs fitting into the amended DBA definition of PACCAR. Indeed, the bill aims to restore the status quo by preventing litigation funding agreements from being caught by s.58AA of the 1990 Act.[5]

The litigation wave.

As parliamentary discussions continue, all eyes are now in the Court system and the pending decisions in litigations arising from PACCAR. Despite the government’s strong stance on this matter, the bill is still in early stages. The second reading took place in April 2024, where issues such as the retrospective nature of the Bill, the Civil Justice Council’s (CJC) forthcoming review of litigation funding, and the need to improve regulations on DBAs, were discussed. Nevertheless, despite the arguable urgency of addressing this issue for funders and the litigation funding market, there is no indication that the bill will be expedited; hence the next step for the bill passage is the Committee stage. The myriad of cases arising from PACCAR may need to stay on standstill for a while, as Courts are likely to await the outcome of the proposed bill before deciding on individual matters.

The UK has a longstanding history of tension between the judiciary power and the two other spheres of the government, the Executive and Parliament. Most of these instances have sparked public debate and have profoundly changed the conditions affecting the market and its players. For example, in the case of R (on the application of Miller and another) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Appellant) [2017] UKSC 5, Gina Miller launched legal proceedings against the Johnson government to challenge the government’s authority to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of European Union, which would start the process for the UK to leave the EU, without the Parliament’s authorisation. The High Court decided that, given the loss of individual rights that would result from this process, Parliament and not the Executive should decide whether to trigger Article 50, and the Supreme Court confirmed that Parliament’s consent was needed.

Another example is the more recent case of AAA (Syria) & Ors, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] UKSC 42 regarding the Rwanda deportation plan. In this case the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the government’s policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful – in agreement with the Court of Appeal’s decision which found that the policy would pose a significant risk of refoulement.

Nevertheless, rushing the finalisation of a bill reversing PACCAR would probably be a counterproductive move. The recent developments suggest that policy makers should focus on deploying a regulatory impact assessment on any regulations aimed at improving access to finance in litigation. Regulators and legislators should ensure that, before designing new regulatory frameworks for litigation finance,  actors from the litigation finance industry are consulted, to ensure that such regulations are adequate and align with the practical realities of the market.

As the detrimental impacts of PACCAR become ever more visible, public authorities should prioritise decisions that favour instilling clarity in the market, and most importantly, ensuring proper access to justice remains upheld in order to “strike the right balance between access to justice and fairness for claimants”.  

A deeper look into the post-PACCAR’s litigations and their domino effects

Even though the English court system is yet to rule on any post-PACCAR case, it is important to understand the immediate effects of the decision by looking at a few landmark cases. We provide in this section of the article an overview of the impacts of the rulingin perhaps the three most important ongoing post-PACCAR proceedings: Therium Litigation Funding A IC v. Bugsby Property LLC (the “Therium litigation”), Alex Neill Class Representative Ltd v Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Ltd [2023] CAT 73 (the “Sony litigation”) and the case of Alan Bates and Others v Post Office Limited [2019] EWHC 3408 (QB), which led to what has been known as the “Post Office scandal” (also referred to as the “Horizon scandal”).

Therium litigation

The Therium litigation is one of the first cases in which an English court considered questions as to whether an LFA amounted to a DBA following the Supreme Court decision in PACCAR. The case concerned the filing of a freezing injunction application by Therium Litigation Funding I AC (“Therium”) who had entered into an LFA with Bugsby Property LLC (“Bugsby”) in relation to a claim against Legal & General Group (“L&G”). The LFA stipulated between Therium and Bugsby entitled Therium to (i) return of the funding it had provided; (ii) three-times multiple of the amount funded; and (iii) 5% of any damages recovered over £37 million, and compelled Bugsby’s solicitors to hold the claim proceeds on trust until distributions had been made in accordance with a waterfall arrangement set out in a separate priorities’ agreement.

Following a settlement reached between Bugsby and L&G, Bugby’s solicitors transferred a proportion of settlement monies to Bugsby’s subsidiary, and notified Therium of the intention to transfer the remaining amount to Bugsby on the understanding that the LFA signed between Therium and Bugsby was unenforceable as it amounted to a DBA following the PACCAR ruling. Therium applied for an interim freezing injunction against Bugsby under s.44 of the Arbitration Act 1996 and argued that, as the payment scheme stipulated by the LFA contained both a multiple-on-investment and a proportion of damage clauses, and the minimum recovery amount to trigger the damage-based recovery had not been reached, no damage-based payment was foreseen.

This meant that the DBA clause within the LFA could be struck off without changing the nature of the original LFA, so that it constituted an “agreement within an agreement”. As legal precedents such as the Court of Appeal ruling in Zuberi v Lexlaw Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 16 allowed for parts of an agreement to be severed so as to render the remainder of the agreement enforceable, the High Court granted the freezing injunction, affirming that a serious question was raised by Therium regarding whether certain parts of the agreement could be severed to keep the rest of the LFA enforceable.

By declaring that there was a serious question to be tried as to whether the non-damage clauses, such as the multiple-based payment clauses, are lawful or not, the High Court opened the possibility of enforceability of existing LFAs through severability of damage-based clauses in instances where PACCAR may also apply. The Therium litigation presents an example of another possible structuring strategy to shape LFAs to prevent them from becoming unenforceable under PACCAR. Nonetheless, as the freezing injunction will now most likely lead to an arbitration, a final Court ruling on the validity of these non-damage-based schemes appears to be unlikely.

Sony litigation

The Sony group litigation is another example of one of the first instances where issues of compliance of a revised LFA have been addressed in the aftermath of PACCAR, this time in the context of CAT proceedings. In this competition case, Alex Neill Class Representative Limited, the Proposed Class Representative (PCR), commenced collective proceedings under section 47B of the CA 1998 against Sony Interactive Entertainment Network Europe Limited and Sony Interactive Entertainment UK Limited (“Sony”). The claimant alleged that Sony abused its dominant market position in compelling publishers and developers to sell their gaming software through the PlayStation store and charging a 30% commission on these sales.

The original LFA entered between Alex Neill and the funder as part of the Sony litigation amounted to a DBA and would have therefore been unenforceable pursuant to PACCAR. On this basis, the PCR and funder negotiated an amended LFA designed to prevent PACCAR enforceability issues. The LFA in place was amended to include references for funders to obtain a multiple of their total funding obligation or a percentage of the total damages and costs recovered, only to the extent enforceable and permitted by applicable law. The LFA was also amended to include a severance clause confirming that damages-based fee provisions could be severed to render the LFA enforceable.

The CAT ultimately agreed with the position of the PCR and confirmed that the revised drafting “expressly recognise[d] that the use of a percentage to calculate the Funder’s Fee will not be employed unless it is made legally enforceable by a change in the law.” In relation to the severance clause, the CAT also expressly provided that such clause enabled the agreement to avoid falling within the statutory definition of a DBA and referred to the test for effective severance clauses.

The CAT’s approach in recognising the PACCAR ruling and yet allowing for new means to render revised LFAs enforceable in light of this decision provides a further example of a Court’s interpretation of the decision, allowing another route for funders to prevent the unenforceability of agreements. Allowing these clauses to exempt litigation funders from PACCAR will in fact allow for such clauses to become market standard for LFAs, and in this case particularly for those LFAs backing opt-out collective proceedings in the CAT.

Post Office scandal  

Although the Post Office scandal occurred in 2019, this case was only recently brought back to light following the successful tv series ‘Mr Bates vs The Post Office’ which recounts the story of the miscarriage of justice suffered by hundreds of sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses (SPM’s) in the past two decades. In short, the Post Office scandal concerned hundreds of SPM’s being unjustly taken to court for criminal offences such as fraud and false accounting, whilst in reality the Horizon computer system used by Post Office Ltd (POL) was found to contain errors that caused  inaccuracies in the system.

Mr. Bates, leading claimant in the case, brought the case on behalf of all the SMP’s which had been unfairly treated by POL. The issuing of the claim was only made possible thanks to a funding arrangement between litigation funders and the SPM’s, used as a basis for investors to pay up front legal costs. As outlined in a publication by Mr Bates in January 2024, such financing, combined with the strength and defiance of Mr. Bates’ colleagues, allowed the case to be brought forward, a battle which in today’s circumstances the postmaster believes would have certainly been lost.[6]

The sheer scale of the Post Office scandal, and the fact that traditional pricing vehicles for legal services would have negated the claimants access to justice, placed the case near the top of the government’s agenda and called again into question the effect of PACCAR on access to justice. Justice Secertary Alex Chalk MP relied on the example of Mr Bates and the Post Office scandal to affirm that that “for many claimants, litigation funding agreements are not just an important pathway to justice – they are the only route to redress.”[7]In light of this recent statement more radical changes to legislation on litigation funding and the enforceability of LFAs appear to be on the horizon.

Conclusion

Assessing the long-term impact of PACCAR will ultimately need to wait until the dust in the litigation finance market settles. Nonetheless, the immediate impacts of the decision have brought four key considerations to light.

First, the relevance of the litigation funding industry in the UK is substantial and any attempt to regulate it impacts not only those who capture value from the market but also the wider society. Regulation of litigation funding could inadvertently affect wider policy questions such as equal access to justice, consumer rights, protection of the environment and human rights.

Second, there is an undeniable intention of the regulators to oversee the litigation finance market, which could reflect in stability and predictability that would be much welcomed by institutional investors and other stakeholders. However, this conclusion assumes that regulatory efforts will be preceded by robust impact assessment and enforced within clear guardrails, always prioritising stability and ensuring proper access to justice.

Third, PACCAR serves to bring awareness that attempts to regulate a market in piecemeal can lead to detrimental outcomes and high adapting costs, far offsetting any positive systemic effects brought by the new framework. Any attempts to regulate a market so complex and relevant for the social welfare should be well-thought-out with the participation of key stakeholders.

Fourth, despite the recent headwinds, the market and government reaction further prove that the litigation finance market continues its consolidation as an effective vehicle to drive value for claimants and investors. The fundamentals behind the market’s growth are still solid and the asset class is consolidating as a strategy to achieve portfolios’ uncorrelation with normal market cycles. As private credit and equity funds as well as venture capitalists, hedge funds and other institutions compete to increase their footprint in this burgeoning market, it is safe to expect a steady increase of market size and investors’ appetite for the thesis.

In conclusion, despite a first brush view of the PACCAR decision, the reactions to this decision and the subsequent developments have evidenced how litigation finance continues to be a promising investment strategy and an effective tool to drive social good and access to justice.


[1] Ana Carolina Salomao, Micaela Ossio and Sarah Voulaz, Is the Supreme Court ruling in PACCAR really clashing with the Litigation Finance industry? An overview of the PACCAR decision and its potential effects, Litigation Finance Journal, 10 October 2023.

[2] Daniel Williams, Class Action Funding: PACCAR and now Therium – what does it mean for class action litigation?, Dwf, October 25, 2023.

[3] Department for Business and Trade statement on recent Supreme Court decision on litigation funding: A statement from the department in response to the Supreme Court’s Judgement in the case of Paccar Inc. and others vs. Competition Tribunal and others. Available at: <https://www.gov.uk/government/news/department-for-business-and-trade-statement-on-recent-supreme-court-decision-on-litigation-funding>.

[4] Press release, ‘New law to make justice more accessible for innocent people wronged by powerful companies’ (GOV.UK, 4 March 2024) Available at <https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-law-to-make-justice-more-accessible-for-innocent-people-wronged-by-powerful-companies>.

[5] Litigation Funding Agreements (Enforceability) Bill (Government Bill originated in the House of Lords, Session 2023-24) Available at <https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3702/publications>.

[6] Alan Bates, ‘Alan Bates: Why I wouldn’t beat the Post Office today’ (Financial Times, 12 January 2024) <https://www.ft.com/content/1b11f96d-b96d-4ced-9dee-98c40008b172>.

[7] Alex Chalk, ‘Cases like Mr Bates vs the Post Office must be funded’ (Financial Times, 3 March 2024) <https://www.ft.com/content/39eeb4a6-d5bc-4189-a098-5b55a80876ec?accessToken=zwAGEsgQoGRQkc857rSm1bxBidOgmFtVqAh27A.MEQCIBNfHrXgvuIufYajr8vp1jmn9z9H9Bwl0FC-u96h8f4LAiBumh82Jxp30mqQsGb71VSoAmYWUwo9YBO2kF5wuMP5QA&sharetype=gift&token=7a7fe231-8fea-4a0d-9755-93fc3e3689aa>.

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Fernando Gragera joins Aon to lead the litigation and contingency insurance practice in Iberia

By Harry Moran |

Aon strengthens its M&A and Transaction Solutions team and pioneers a local team specialising in the management of these risks

Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm, has appointed Fernando Gragera as Director of Litigation and Contingent Risks for Spain and Portugal. Fernando will join the Iberia M&A and Transaction Solutions (AMATS) team led by Lucas López Vázquez, and globally in Aon’s international Litigation Risk Group. His role will be to develop the litigation insurance practice and assist Aon’s clients in transferring risks arising from litigation and contingent situations.

Fernando Gragera, a Spanish lawyer and solicitor of England and Wales with more than 13 years of professional experience, comes from PLA Litigation Funding, a litigation funder specialising in the Iberian market. Previously, he worked as a lawyer in the litigation and arbitration department of Cuatrecasas and as in-house counsel at Meliá Hotels International, where he was responsible for the group’s litigation and arbitration.

This appointment responds to the growing interest from investment funds, corporations and law firms in covering contingent and litigation-related risks and makes Aon the first professional services firm with a local team specialising in contingent and litigation solutions in Iberia.

Miguel Blesa, head of Aon Transaction Solutions in Iberia: “Fernando’s appointment is a major milestone for the industry and embodies a commitment we have been working on for years. In this way, we reinforce our commitment to continue to support our clients and help them make the best decisions to protect and grow their business”.

About Aon

Aon plc (NYSE: AON) exists to shape decisions for the better — to protect and enrich the lives of people around the world. Through actionable analytic insight, globally integrated Risk Capital and Human Capital expertise, and locally relevant solutions, our colleagues provide clients in over 120 countries and sovereignties with the clarity and confidence to make better risk and people decisions that help protect and grow their businesses.

Follow Aon on X and LinkedIn. To learn more visit our NOA content platform. 

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Altroconsumo Secures Impressive 50 million Euro Settlement for 60,000 Participants to Dieselgate Class Action in Italy

By Harry Moran |

Altroconsumo and VW Group have reached a ground-breaking agreement, providing over 50 million euro relief to over 60,000 Italian consumers affected by the emissions fraud scandal. Celebrating this major win for Italian consumers, Euroconsumers calls on Volkswagen to now also compensate Dieselgate victims in the other Euroconsumers countries. 

The settlement reached by Altroconsumo, arising from a Euroconsumers coordinated class action which commenced in 2015 ensures that Volkswagen will allocate over 50 million euros in compensation. Eligible participants stand to receive payments of up to 1100 euros per individual owner.

This brings an end to an eight year long legal battle that Altroconsumo together with Euroconsumers has been fiercefully fighting for Italian consumers and marks a significant milestone in seeking justice for those impacted by the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal.

We extend our massive congratulations to Altroconsumo for reaching this major settlement in favor of the Italian Dieselgate victims. Finally, they will receive the justice and compensation they deserve. This milestone underscores the importance of upholding consumer rights and the accountability of big market players when these rights are ignored, something Euroconsumers and all its national organisations will continue to do together with even more intensity under the new Representative Actions Directive” – Marco Scialdone, Head Litigation and Academic Outreach Euroconsumers

Together with Altroconsumo in Italy, Euroconsumers also initiated Dieselgate class actions against the Volkswagen-group in Belgium, Spain and Portugal. While the circumstances are shared, the outcomes have been far from consistent.

Euroconsumers was the first European consumer cluster to launch collective actions against Volkswagen to secure redress and compensation for all affected by the emissions scandal in its member countries. After 8 years of relentless pursuit, we urge the VW group to finally come through for all of them and give all of them the compensation they rightfully deserve. All Dieselgate victims are equal and should be treated with equal respect.” – Els Bruggeman, Head Policy and Enforcement Euroconsumers

Consumer protection is nothing without enforcement and so Euroconsumers and its organisations will continue to lead important class actions which benefit consumers all across the single market. 

Read the full Altroconsumo press release here.

About Euroconsumers 

Gathering five national consumer organisations and giving voice to a total of more than 1,5 million people in Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Brazil, Euroconsumers is the world’s leading consumer cluster in innovative information, personalised services and the defence of consumer rights. Our European member organisations are part of the umbrella network of BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation. Together we advocate for EU policies that benefit consumers in their daily lives.

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Member Spotlight: Felipe Hotta 

By John Freund |

Felipe Hotta, Partner at Pogust Goodhead, is a 29-year-old Brazilian lawyer who graduated from the University of São Paulo (USP). Hotta graduated a master’s degree in environmental law from Queen Mary University of London and trained at the Negotiation Program at Harvard Law School. 

Specialized in indigenous law, environmental law, and human rights, Hotta dedicates his career to advocating on behalf of vulnerable communities and of those without full access to justice in Brazil, particularly in cases against large international corporations.  

Pogust Goodhead is a global law firm headquartered in London, England, dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of those affected by potentially irresponsible actions from large corporations. Pogust Goodhead´s mission is to level the playing field between individuals, businesses and large corporations. 

In 2023, Pogust Goodhead and Gramercy signed a £450 million investment partnership, the largest litigation funding deal in legal history. 

Company Website: https://pogustgoodhead.com/ 

Year Founded: 2018 

Headquarters: Rio de Janeiro, London, Philadelphia, Amsterdam, Miami, Edinburgh, San Diego, New Jersey and Sydney. 

Area of Focus:  Environmental law, human rights, climate litigation, consumer law, indigenous law, collective disputes 

Member Quote: “In a context where access to justice is often a privilege of the powerful, litigation funding emerges as hope for those who have been victims of human rights or environmental rights violations in Brazil, particularly in the fight against large corporations.” 

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New Study Reveals How GCs and CFOs Across Industries Manage Legal Risk and Value in an Uncertain Climate

By Harry Moran |

Burford Capital, the leading global finance and asset management firm focused on law, today releases a new study that examines how senior legal and finance department leaders across industries approach litigation spend, legal cost and risk management and optimizing legal department value.

Much has changed in the 15 years since Burford’s inception in the wake of the global financial crisis. Economic, political and societal changes have impacted different industries and their legal functions in different ways. This study reveals how leaders from both legal and finance functions in various industries are responding to both external and internal factors—adapting their legal strategies to navigate the evolving landscape effectively—and where they plan to allocate resources moving forward.

The research is gathered from online interviews with 400 senior lawyers and finance professionals across ten industry sectors, shedding light on their decision-making processes regarding commercial disputes as well as cost and risk management within their legal departments. Industry sectors addressed are construction and real estate; consumer goods and services; energy; food; healthcare; manufacturing; mining; pharma and life sciences; retail; and transportation and supply chain.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Senior legal and finance leaders in construction and mining expect the biggest increases in litigation spend in the next five years, with pharma and food close behind.
  • 3 of 4 GCs and CFOs in construction and real estate say a top priority is to increase certainty and predictability of legal costs—25% higher than the average across all industries.
  • Pharma and life sciences GCs and CFOs are four times more likely than the average across all industries to say they could reallocate $50 million or more elsewhere in the business by financing litigation and arbitration.
  • Almost two thirds (65%) of senior finance and legal leaders at mining companies say that in the next 15 years they are likely to use monetization, a legal finance solution that provides businesses immediate capital by advancing some of the expected entitlement of a pending claim, judgment or award.
  • Half of GCs and CFOs at food companies expect their organization’s litigation and arbitration spend to increase by more than 25% over the next five years; they are also 54% more likely to have used legal finance than the average across all industries.
  • A third of senior finance and legal leaders at energy companies say they already have a robust affirmative recovery program in place, nearly twice as many as the average across all industries. 
  • Healthcare, retail and consumer GCs and CFOs are more likely to say legal finance can play a significant role in reducing overall litigation and legal costs, perhaps reflecting these sectors’ typically thin margins and their desire for innovative cost-saving measures.
  • Finance and legal leaders at retail companies are the most likely to say they intend to invest heavily in legal technology and AI over the next year.
  • Industries in which leaders anticipate the largest increases in future litigation spend do not currently have the largest budgets, suggesting a significant shift in litigation priorities among some industries.

Christopher Bogart, CEO of Burford Capital, said: “Burford’s latest research affirms that GCs and CFOs across industries are thinking about new ways to create value for the business, which is at the heart of our work to help clients reframe the legal department from cost center to capital source.

“Burford was founded in the wake of the 2009 global financial crisis, and we recognize that our capital and expertise are especially valuable in challenging times. A major shift since our founding is the continued expansion of our client base from law firms to companies, including very large ones, and financing arrangements with companies now account for the majority of our business. We help all our clients navigate risk and exploring innovative capital solutions, but the growth of our business with corporate clients—including a recent $325 million deal with a single Fortune 500—is exemplary of how much our capital and expertise can help businesses both survive and thrive in today’s uncertain landscape.”

The latest research is based on an online survey of senior financial officers and in-house lawyers of companies across ten different industries and with annual revenues of $50 million or more in the US, UK, Australia, Singapore, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, The Netherlands and the UAE. All respondents are in roles that include knowledge of their companies’ litigation expenditures and decision-making.The Industry perspectives on litigation and arbitration survey can be downloaded on Burford’s website. The research was conducted by GLG from December 2023–January 2024.

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Burford Capital Reports First Quarter 2024 Results

By Harry Moran |

Burford Capital Limited (“Burford”), the leading global finance and asset management firm focused on law, today announces its first quarter 2024 results.

In addition, Burford has made available an accompanying first quarter 2024 results presentation on its website at http://investors.burfordcapital.com.

Christopher Bogart, Chief Executive Officer of Burford Capital, commented:

“Our first quarter showed our highest ever reported level of first quarter cash receipts, above-average realized gains, continued case conclusions with loss levels below historical experience and moderate new business activity broadly consistent with a typical first quarter. Total revenues reflected the variable timing of recognition we expect in our business; the underlying portfolio continued to show forward momentum with no material negative developments, while lower operating expenses reflected the absence of elevated variable costs.”The full summary of the quarterly results can be read here.

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Lex Ferenda Litigation Funding LLC Announces Promotion; New Appointment

By Harry Moran |

Lex Ferenda Litigation Funding LLC “LF2” is pleased to announce the following promotion and appointment: Andrew Kelley is now LF2’s Deputy Chief Investment Officer; Andrew Bourhill joins LF2 as Associate Director, Investments. Kelley previously served as Managing Director, Underwriting and Risk. Bourhill, who was an intern at the company while completing his MBA at Columbia Business School, graduated this month and now joins on a full-time basis.

“LF2 has been working on its first investment fund, committing it to litigation assets around the US. It has always been our plan to increase our commitments to Andrew and Andrew, and we are pleased that the business is in a place that we are able to do that,” said Chris Baildon, LF2’s Chief Operating Officer.

PROMOTION

Kelley, who now serves as the Company’s Deputy Chief Investment Officer, is a key part of the management team and works carefully with the co-founders and advisory board to understand risk and manage investments.

“I am excited to expand my role at LF2 and look forward to continuing to help our clients and their counsel successfully navigate the dispute resolution process without having to worry about how to pay for their representation,” said Kelley. “As a former outside counsel and in-house lawyer, I understand the complex business and legal dynamics of successfully funding, prosecuting, and resolving disputes.”

Prior to joining LF2 in early 2023, Kelley was Associate General Counsel and head of commercial litigation at Fortune 500 company, DaVita Inc.. He has also served as General Counsel to a private equity firm headquartered in Colorado and as outside counsel at two different international law firms in Colorado. Kelley received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is actively licensed to practice law in Colorado.

APPOINTMENT

Bourhill joins as Associate Director, Investments, and will be primarily responsible for creating, developing, and maintaining business relationships with law firms and litigants to ensure that LF2’s commercial activity continues to expand while its clients receive best-in-class service.

“I am looking forward to joining the LF2 team and applying my unique perspective in a dynamic industry with such high growth potential,” said Bourhill. “As a former litigator and finance professional, I’m excited to enhance outcomes for both our clients and investors while being able to promote access to high quality legal representation.”

Prior to obtaining his MBA, Bourhill was an associate attorney at a premier defense law firm in Manhattan specializing in commercial litigation. Bourhill received his J.D. from the Cardozo School of Law, and his B.A. from Emory University. He is actively licensed to practice law in New York.

“I am humbled to have Kelley and Bourhill take expanded roles at LF2 and believe that their increased fidelity with our clients and investors will make our business stronger,” said Michael German, Chief Investment Officer at LF2. “We are continuing to expand in the litigation finance space and are excited about the future, particularly with Andrew and Andrew playing strategic roles within the business,” German said.

ABOUT LEX FERENDA LITIGATION FUNDINGLF2 is a commercial litigation finance company anchored by institutional capital. LF2 is structured with the objective of meeting the highest standards in investment process management, quality control, risk management, and compliance. For further information about LF2, please visit: www.lf-2.com.

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High-Volume Claims Funding: Strategies for Efficiency and Risk Management

By Louisa Klouda |

The following is a contributed piece by Louisa Klouda, CEO at Fenchurch Legal.

Litigation funding is a well-established concept that provides essential financial support for legal claims. While financing for high-value lawsuits is commonplace, small-ticket funding, especially at high volumes, remains a niche area.

This article explores the challenges and opportunities of funding high volumes of small-ticket claims. It outlines the strategies employed by some small-ticket litigation funders to efficiently manage these claims while ensuring investor confidence.

The Challenge of High-Volume Claims

While a single small claim might seem manageable, the sheer volume of “no win, no fee” cases can overwhelm a law firm’s financial and operational resources. Each claim demands substantial time and effort for investigation, evidence gathering, and legal representation.

Without additional funding, managing multiple cases simultaneously becomes a significant financial burden. This can limit a firm’s ability to take on new clients or dedicate sufficient resources to each claim.

Litigation funding bridges this gap by providing the resources law firms need to handle a high volume of claims effectively. Securing funding to cover the costs of these claims allows law firms to build strong processes and procedures, ultimately benefiting from economies of scale.

Strategies for Success

Firms specialising in high-volume claim funding can achieve success through a combination of technology, experienced teams, and robust processes.

  • Technology: State-of-the-art software isn’t just an advantage – it’s an imperative. It can streamline every aspect of the operations, automating repetitive tasks and facilitating efficient case vetting through rigorous risk management, ensuring efficient and reliable funding solutions.
  • Experienced Team: A knowledgeable team plays a crucial role in assessing claims, managing risk, and ensuring compliance with regulations. A team must go beyond just general experience – they should possess deep market knowledge and a nuanced understanding of the specific claim types.
  • Robust Processes: Clearly defined processes for loan approval, monitoring, and repayments are essential for maintaining transparency and accountability.

The Importance of Software

Limitations of manual processes can hinder efficiency. Software solutions can streamline the loan process, enhance risk management, and provide robust audit trails. This software should:

  • Facilitate Efficient Case Vetting: Streamline the process of assessing claims for eligibility.
  • Enhance Risk Management: Built-in safety measures can prevent errors like double-funding and identify potential risks.
  • Ensure Transparency and Accountability: Robust audit trails provide a clear picture of the funding process.

Funders like Fenchurch Legal have gone further. Recognising the limitations of off-the-shelf loan management software, they have built their own bespoke software, which serves as the backbone of their operations and enables them to manage a high volume of claims efficiently. It eliminates manual errors and incorporates built-in safety measures, such as preventing double-funded cases and cross-referencing duplicate data across the platform. This seamless approach is essential for managing drawdowns and repayments and ensuring the integrity of their funding processes.

A Streamlined Funding Process

An efficient funding process benefits both law firms and funders.  Here’s a simplified example of how it might work:

  1. Clear Eligibility Criteria: Law firms understand the types of cases that qualify for funding based on pre-agreed criteria (i.e., success rate thresholds).
  2. Batch Uploads: Law firms can easily request funding by uploading batches of cases to a secure online platform.
  3. Auditing and Approval: A sample of cases is audited to ensure they meet agreed upon terms. If approved, funding is released in a single lump sum.
  4. Monitoring and Repayment: Software facilitates seamless monitoring of the loans and the repayment status, ensuring efficient management of repayment schedules.

Managing Risk in High-Volume Funding

Risk management is vital in high-volume funding. Here are some strategies that can be employed to mitigate risk effectively:

  • Diversification: Spreading funding across different law firms and case types is a crucial strategy for mitigating risk in high-volume claim funding. It minimises overexposure and creates a well-balanced portfolio.
  • After the Event (ATE) Insurance: Provides an extra layer of protection for investments in high-volume claim funding. It specifically covers the legal costs if a funded claim is unsuccessful.
  • Rigorous Due Diligence: Thorough assessment of cases and the law firm’s capacity to handle them ensures informed decision-making.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Proactive risk identification and mitigation safeguard investments. This includes requesting regular updates and performance data from law firms.

Conclusion

By leveraging technology, team expertise, and robust processes, funders can efficiently manage high-volume small claims, presenting a compelling investment opportunity. This approach can minimise risk and ensure transparency throughout the funding process.

Fenchurch Legal specialises in this niche area, efficiently managing and supporting a high volume of small-ticket consumer claims with an average loan value of £3,000 each. They handle diverse areas such as housing disrepair and personal contract payment claims. Their proven track record of funding over 12,000 cases is driven by their bespoke software, knowledgeable team, and robust processes.

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