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Therium’s Financial Commitments To Access To Justice Causes Surpass £1.7m

By John Freund |

Jersey, 15th December 2020Therium Access, the not-for-profit arm of global litigation funder Therium Capital Management, has announced the recipients of its latest grant round. The Autumn 2020 grants have been awarded to six organisations and brings the total number of organisations receiving grants to 32 with over £1.7m committed since its inception in 2019.

The Autumn 2020 grant round remained focused on the issues exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, with a focus on supporting work which is difficult to find funding for elsewhere, scalable delivery models, preservation of legal specialisation and work of strategic importance. Areas of law such as employment and housing were focussed on as these services face a huge surge in demand. Issues facing vulnerable young people were also prioritised.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues into 2021, these organisations will continue to serve as a lifeline to the most vulnerable and marginalised in society. Additional grants have been awarded to two current grantees.

The recipients of the Therium Access Autumn 2020 grant round are:

  • Bristol Law Centre: The grant will increase capacity in employment and housing, enabling Bristol Law Centre to deliver a full service including complex advice and casework, in a wider geographical area without the limitations of Legal Aid work.
  • Child Poverty Action Group: The grant is for the continuation of funding for a solicitor in the charity’s strategic litigation team and other various costs as it continues to promote and protect the rights of children and families and maximise family incomes.
  • Legal Action Group: The grant is for a new Housing Possession Duty Desk: a practical guide. The Guide will provide a practical, accessible and affordable source of information for advisers at Housing Possession Court Duty Schemes.
  • Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens: The grant is towards PRCBC’s core costs to support delivery of their pro bono strategic casework that ensures young people are aware of and able to exercise their rights to British citizenship.
  • South West London Law Centre: This grant will fund a Housing Court Crisis Navigator who will give practical help and support to deal with the underlying issues of people seen by their housing and debt teams in Croydon.
  • Youth Legal: The grant is for the salary and associated costs of a part-time Development worker to support Youth Legal’s vital work and to reach out to their communities, develop strong networks, and coordinate projects.

Jeunesse Mensier, Grant Programme Director at Therium Access, said: “Our Autumn 2020 grant round has again shown us the excellent and necessary work that organisations and individuals provide across the country in facilitating access to justice. We are so pleased to be supporting these six impressive and inspiring organisations which help some of the most vulnerable in our society in the areas of citizenship, employment and housing.”

Lord Falconer, Chairman of Therium Access Advisory Committee said“During such a difficult time, legal advice has never been more important. It’s so brilliant to see Therium Access lead the way and provide much-needed financial support to such worthy organisations that provide free legal advice to strive and reduce the ever-increasing justice gap. We look forward to seeing other funders follow suit.”

Solange Valdez-Symonds, Solicitor and Director of Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens said: “PRCBC’s core activity is assisting, including by litigation, children and young people to secure their rights to British citizenship. This grant from Therium Access is vital for our continued ability to deliver on this – and not only to directly assist more children and young people. It enables us to bring our expertise and experience to bear in challenging the several injustices in policy and practice that deprive so many more children and young people of the security and recognition that is theirs by right through registration of citizenship. Thank you Therium Access.”

Louisa McGeehan, Director of Policy at Child Poverty Action Group said: Funding from Therium Access Fund for a further year will enable us to continue our award-winning work in ensuring low-income families have access to justice.  The need is greater than ever given the unprecedented number of families claiming universal credit as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. renewed funding will help us in our ongoing work of ensuring that laws relating to social security entitlement are made and applied in compliance with fundamental rule of law requirements and that ordinary individuals will be able to hold the government to account when this is not the case.”

Applications for the Spring 2021 grant round will close on 15th April 2021 with priorities being confirmed in early 2021.

About Therium Access:

Therium Access is the primary expression of Therium’s corporate and social responsibility programme. Therium Access dispenses with the criteria of funding for profit and has the sole purpose of facilitating access to justice.  Therium Access is a mark of Therium’s wider commitment to the pursuit of justice and the rule of law.

Therium Access accepts applications from charities and other entities whose services and projects facilitate access to justice or from those seeking assistance to obtain legal representation on cases (including defence) which have strategic importance. The applicant’s need and the impact of the grant will be important factors in our review process. The deadline for the submission of the next round of grant applications is 15 April 2021. In addition, urgent applications may be considered on an ad hoc basis. Applications need to be made by legal representatives or the entity seeking a grant.  The board of Therium Access is assisted by an Advisory Committee which is chaired by Lord Falconer, former Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Secretary of State for Justice.

Therium Access aims to support access to justice in the broadest terms and considers applications that further the following causes (in no particular order):

  • The right to legal representation or due process;
  • The proper and efficient administration of justice;
  • The advancement of human rights;
  • The promotion of equality of rights and diversity;
  • The protection of children, the elderly, the disabled, minorities, asylum seekers and other vulnerable or disadvantaged groups;
  • The advancement of environmental protection or improvement;
  • The promotion of legal education that furthers the causes listed above; and
  • Any other case or project in which a person, group, or entity will not have access to justice without financial assistance.

Therium Access is intended to be a global initiative. Its initial focus is on the UK and it will be rolled out in other jurisdictions in a number of planned phases.

About Therium Capital Management:

Therium is a leading provider of investment capital to the legal industry and one of the largest, having raised over $1 bn since 2009.  With investment teams in the UK, USA, Australia, Germany and Norway, Therium has funded litigation and arbitration claims exceeding $40 billion including many of the largest and most high profile funded cases in the UK and internationally, including arbitrations under rules of the LCIA, ICC, UNCITRAL, LMAA, AAA, CIETAC, ICSID, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce and the Energy Charter Treaty.  Therium has been Top Ranked by Chambers and Partners and Leaders League with investment officers across the UK, Europe, USA and Asia Pac recognised as leading individuals in litigation finance.

Last year to mark the firm’s tenth anniversary, Therium Access was launched as a not-for-profit venture to fund a wide range of access to justice projects and cases – supporting the most vulnerable in our society and helping to bridge the widening justice gap. With its own board composed of eminent figures from the legal community and a dedicated grants officer, Therium Access has made over £1.7 m in financial commitments over the last 22 months to over 32 different organisations. As the first initiative of its kind, Therium has been shortlisted for several awards for launching this ground-breaking initiative, including the FT Innovative Lawyer Awards 2019, the Lexis Nexis Awards 2020 and The Lawyer Awards 2020.

Therium also invests in AI and software projects to accelerate the advancement of the industry. As a founding member of both the ALF, ILFA and the Litigation Funding Working Group, Therium is also committed to shaping the future of legal finance and setting high standards for the industry.

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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 www.burfordcapital.com.

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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 www.allia.group to learn more.

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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 info@sdk.org.The SdK will be happy to answer any questions from its affected members by e-mail at info@sdk.org or by telephone on +49 89 / 2020846-0.

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