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Erasmus’ Litigation Investment Innovation Library 

By John Freund |

Erasmus Law Review hosts white papers from 10 of Europe’s top legal finance scholars. The library highlights major developments and barriers to litigation financiers. 

Litigation Finance Journal’s compilation of the Erasmus legal investment library’s LF-based white papers includes a diverse library of subject matter, including regulatory issues in Australia, European litigation funding, and the role of BTE and ATE insurance. 

The Erasmus library provides some dense material, yet these deep-dives can provide industry stakeholders with the opportunity to explore niche segments of the market not typically covered in more mainstream publications.

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Leading European Finance Firm Nera Capital to Fund €1 Billion Truck Cartel Class Action

By Harry Moran |

A prominent European finance company has announced it will be funding over 25,000 claims in a €1 billion class action against truck manufacturers, who were part of a price-fixing cartel.

Nera Capital, which has offices in Manchester, Dublin and The Netherlands, is focussing exclusively on group redress claims, helping consumers and small to medium sized businesses, fight for justice against antitrust behaviour by corporates.

In 2016, the European Commission found MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF broke European Union antitrust rules by colluding on truck pricing and on passing on the costs of compliance with stricter emission rules from 1997 to 2011.

The Commission imposed a record €2.93 billion fine on the manufacturers, except MAN as it revealed the existence of the cartel. All companies acknowledged their involvement and agreed to settle the case.

Speaking about this historic class action, Nera Capital Director, Aisling Byrne, said this investment will ensure truck owners receive justice for the damage the 14-year cartel caused. "The agreements covered both medium-duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks and affected the entire European Economic Area. While the cartel stopped running in 2011, the after affect was felt by truck owners in the following years, and it is important that those affected get their chance for justice.”

Nera Capital has appointed a leading German law firm to act for the claimants in the case.

When the European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager handed down the historic fine in 2016, she said it was not acceptable that the manufacturers were part of a cartel instead of competing with each other. In 2016 she commented on the more than 30 million trucks on European roads, which accounted for around three quarters of inland transport of goods in Europe, playing a vital role for the European economy.

Ms Byrne echoed these comments and said the firm's success is built through its strong industry relationships and a passion for justice. “This is a pivotal moment for corporate accountability,” she added. “Our investment underscores our commitment to supporting small businesses and consumers who have been impacted by antitrust violations. With a strong track record of committing over £475 million, in aggregate, into claims, we are excited to offer our support to truck owners across Europe, because we believe justice should be accessible to all. Nera Capital stands firm in its mission to level the playing field against corporate misconduct. This class action is not just about compensation but also about holding accountable those who undermine fair competition."

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.

.     Member of European Litigation Funders Association.

.     www.neracapital.com

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Nera Capital Funding Truck Cartel Claims

By Harry Moran |

The European truck cartel case has long stood out as one of the most prominent examples of litigation funders looking to support mass claims against large companies over their breaches of competition rules. The latest announcement of a funder supporting such a claim continues to demonstrate the importance of these case types.

An article in Business Mondays highlights a recent announcement from Nera Capital, a legal finance firm based in Dublin, that it will be funding over 25,000 claims as part of the truck cartel case. The claims brought against truck suppliers has been one of the most high profile class action cases in Europe, following the 2016 European Commission ruling which found MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF guilty of breaking EU antitrust rules over their co-ordination of pricing.

Aisling Byrne, director at Nera Capital, highlighted the importance of third-party funding for the claims being brought against these truck manufacturers, stating that “while the cartel stopped running in 2011, the after effect was felt by truck owners in the following years, and it is important that those affected get their chance for justice.” The article also states that Nera Capital has appointed a German law firm to provide legal representation for the claimants it is funding.

Byrne also emphasised that Nera Capital’s investment in the truck cartel case aligned with “its mission to level the playing field against corporate misconduct”, and that this case “is not just about compensation but also about holding accountable those who undermine fair competition.”

Apple and Omni Bridgeway Spar Over Venue for Subpoena Fight

By Harry Moran |

As LFJ reported earlier this month, the world of patent litigation funding has once again generated a high-profile dispute, as Apple pressed a court to enforce a subpoena against Omni Bridgeway over the funder’s alleged role in a patent infringement case brought against the technology giant. The legal fight continues to evolve last week, as the two parties seek to find favourable ground in a venue of their choosing.

An article in Reuters provides a recap of the events that have led up to the current standoff between Apple and Omni Bridgeway, before shedding light on the current state of affairs. At issue is the court venue following Apple’s filing of a motion to compel compliance regarding its subpoena of Omni Bridgeway for information relating to the MPH patent infringement lawsuit. The case had been assigned to the Delaware district’s chief judge, U.S. District Judge Colm Connolly, who has become a familiar name in the litigation funding world over his standing order enforcing disclosure of third-party funding in patent cases. 

Unsurprisingly, Omni Bridgeway filed a motion to transfer the matter to the Northern District of California, stating that this court is the venue which “issued the subject subpoena and that is presiding over the underlying litigation’. The motion argued that this transfer “promotes judicial economy and prevents the risk of inconsistent rulings”, and went on to point out that “Litigating this issue in California is not inconvenient for Apple, a California corporation, with California lawyers party to the underlying California litigation.”

In response, Apple’s lawyers responded to the motion to transfer in a letter to Chief Judge Connolly, “injects unnecessary delay into the briefing, and will likely delay resolution of Apple’s motion to compel.”

Omni Bridgeway’s motion to transfer can be read here. Apple’s letter responding to the motion can be read here.