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CAT Continues to Send Revised Funding Agreements to the Court of Appeal

By John Freund |
As the UK government accelerates its efforts to implement new legislation to address the impact of the Supreme Court’s PACCAR ruling on litigation funding, the courts continue to deal with ongoing attempts to revise litigation funding agreements to comply with PACCAR. An article in Legal Futures provides an overview of activity in the CAT in 2024, which has granted permission for a number of revised litigation funding agreements (LFAs) to go before the Court of Appeal in the wake of the Supreme Court’s PACCAR ruling. The CAT’s latest decision is the third time this year that the CAT has sent funding agreements to the Court of Appeal, after the terms of the funder’s remuneration in each agreement had been reworked to comply with the PACCAR judgement. The first of these decisions from the CAT was in January and related to the collective proceedings brought against Sony over allegations that it overcharged customers through its distribution of videogames in the Playstation Store. In that case, the CAT ruled that the revised funding agreement which allowed for the funder to receive a percentage of the damages only if this was “enforceable and permitted by applicable law” did not violate the PACCAR ruling. Permission was granted to send the funding agreement to the Court of Appeal, with the CAT saying that a “conclusive” decision was required. The second permission granted for an LFA was in the case of Kent v Apple, where the funding agreement’s terms had been revised to specify that the funder’s returns would be calculated based on a multiple of costs rather than a percentage of damages.  The latest example cited by Legal Futures is the CAT’s decision on the funding agreements on the dual opt-in and opt-out collective proceedings which have been brought against Mastercard and Visa. In these proceedings, the returns for funders in the LFAs were revised from a percentage-based recovery to one based on the funder and ATE insurer’s costs, and a multiple of the funder’s spend. Once again, the CAT ruled in favour of sending the revised agreements to be reviewed, stating that the continuing uncertainty about these issues of funding enforceability arising in a series of cases before the tribunal is unlikely to be resolved without determination of the issues by the Court of Appeal”.

Delaware District Judge Rules in Favour of Woodsford Subsidiary in Dispute with Hosie Rice

By John Freund |
In what appears to be the final word on the long-running dispute between Woodsford and Hosie Rice, a Delaware judge has ruled in favour of the litigation funder in its efforts to recoup $1.8 million from the law firm. An article in Legal Newsline covers the decision by U.S. District Judge Colm Connolly to rule in favour of Woodsford’s subsidiary Frome Wye, upholding the prior court order from a magistrate judge requiring Hosie Rice to pay $1.8 million to the funder. In his ruling, Judge Connolly said that Hosie Rice’s objections were “without merit” and found that they were not protected by Delaware’s usury law with regards to the law firm’s obligations to remunerate the funder. The origins of this dispute date back to Woodsford providing around $800,000 in funding for Space Data’s case against Google, with Space Data refusing to pay Hosie Rice after it reached a settlement with Google in 2020. After an arbitrator ruled that Space Data owed the law firm up to $4 million in costs but no contingency fee, Hosie argued that it was not required to award Woodsford any additional fee beyond the original loan repayments.  The $1.8 million award was handed down by an arbitration panel as a result of Woodsford’s subsequent lawsuit against Hosie Rice, in which the funder argued that it was owed additional remuneration as the $4 million client payment constituted a ‘revenue event’ for the law firm. 

High Court Judge Rules that Anonymous Funder’s Identity is Relevant in Webster v HMRC

By John Freund |
The issue of disclosure in regards to litigation funding has been most associated, in recent years, with patent infringement litigation in the United States, as defendants and judges have probed the nature of the financiers backing lawsuits. However, an ongoing case in the High Court has brought this issue to light in a very different manner, after a claimant said that even they did not know the identity of their litigation funder. Reporting by International Tax Review highlights the case of Webster v HMRC in the High Court, where Justice Rowena Collins Rice ruled against the claimant’s application to strike out an abuse of process defense, over HMRC’s attempts to identify Webster’s litigation funder. Jennifer Webster, the claimant in the case, has stated that she does not know who is funding her case, as the funder has only backed the claim on the condition that its identity remains anonymous and would withdraw from the litigation if its identity was made public. According to the judge’s ruling, Mishcon de Reya, the law firm representing Webster, are aware of the litigation funder’s identity. The ruling came about after HMRC successfully sought a court order to force the claimant to disclose their funder’s identity, which led Webster’s legal team to attempt to have this defence struck out. In her ruling, Justice Collins Rice explained that the funder’s identity was relevant as it addresses concerns over this mystery financier’s motivations for the case. The judge stated:  “Funder identity goes, on HMRC’s case, to the core issue of whether this is a genuine private law claim, albeit a test case, generously funded by a disinterested and publicity-shy benefactor with a commitment to human rights, or whether the court’s processes are being abused by an unregulated attack, on a government department exercising statutory public functions in the public interest, made in the service of agencies whose own commitment to the UK public interest, and the interests of justice, is unapparent.” Commenting on the judgement, Dan Neidle, director of Tax Policy Associates, argued that despite the judge’s ruling being “very strange”, it was unlikely that the claimant would be successful if they appealed the decision. As for the mystery funder’s reasons for seeking anonymity, Neidle suggested that it could be a benign motivation or “possibly something more sinister: a person with something to hide, using this litigation to block the rules that prevent its secrets from being uncovered”.

Upholding the Duty of Client Confidentiality During the Funding Process

By John Freund |
The following article was contributed by Jeff Manley, Chief Operating Officer of Armadillo Litigation Funding In the competitive landscape of litigation, the strategic use of litigation financing has become a vital tool for law firms to manage cash flow, mitigate risk, and level the playing field. However, the infusion of external capital into the legal process brings forth intricate ethical considerations, particularly concerning client confidentiality. The Imperative of Confidentiality At the heart of the attorney-client relationship lies the paramount duty of confidentiality, a cornerstone enshrined in the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.6. The Rule obligates attorneys to not reveal information related to the representation of a client without the client's informed consent or unless the disclosure is otherwise permitted by the Rules. This duty persists beyond the attorney-client relationship and extends to all members of a law firm. Ethical Complexities in Litigation Financing Litigation financing requires attorneys to navigate a delicate balance: providing sufficient information to secure funding while safeguarding the sanctity of client confidences. The process typically involves disclosing case merits, potential outcomes, and strategies—details that, if not handled correctly, could jeopardize client confidentiality. Crafting the Safeguards Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs): Prior to any discussion, law firms must insist on stringent NDAs with financing entities. These NDAs must be tailored to explicitly protect any information that may relate to a client's case. De-identification of Data: Information shared during the funding process should be stripped of any identifiers that can link it to a specific client. This step ensures that financiers can evaluate the investment on its merits without risking a breach of confidentiality. Use of Aggregated Data: Where possible, firms should rely on aggregated statistics and data analytics that provide an overview of the firm’s track record and the types of cases they handle, rather than details of individual cases. Informed Consent: In scenarios where the disclosure of identifiable information is unavoidable, the law firm must obtain explicit, informed consent from the client. This consent should be thorough, documenting the specific information to be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, and the parties to whom it will be disclosed. The ethical obligations surrounding confidentiality are not mere guidelines but are anchored in legal and regulatory frameworks that govern the practice of law. Violations can lead to disciplinary actions by state bar associations, potential disqualification from cases, and even civil liability. Continuous Ethical Vigilance  The journey towards ethical compliance in litigation financing is not one that a law firm undertakes alone. It is a collaborative endeavor that greatly benefits from the engagement of a respected and knowledgeable funding partner. Such a partner brings to the table a deep understanding of the legal landscape and the specific nuances of confidentiality laws that govern attorney conduct. Selecting the Right Partner: A reputable litigation finance partner will have stringent ethical standards in place and will be well-versed in the ABA Model Rules, state bar directives, and relevant case law. This expertise is invaluable in helping to structure financing agreements that are not only beneficial but also fully compliant with legal ethics. Joint Compliance Efforts: A trusted funding partner contributes to the law firm's efforts by engaging in joint compliance checks and due diligence. They will proactively work with the firm to ensure that all shared information adheres to the principles of confidentiality and that any potential ethical pitfalls are identified and mitigated early on. The landscape of legal ethics is not static; it evolves with new rulings and regulations. A knowledgeable funding partner remains abreast of these changes and works alongside the law firm to adapt practices and agreements accordingly. This dynamic approach ensures that the firm's operations remain compliant over time. In the intricate process of litigation finance, a law firm's dedication to maintaining confidentiality must be matched by the acumen of its financial allies. The right funding partner does not merely provide capital; they contribute to the ethical fortitude of the funding process. Through continuous vigilance and a partnership grounded in mutual respect for the law, firms can navigate the complexities of litigation financing while upholding the sacred duty of client confidentiality.
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Dane Lund Joins Juris Capital as Managing Director

By John Freund |
Juris Capital, an investment manager specializing in innovative financial solutions for commercial litigants and law firms, is delighted to announce that Dane Lund has joined as a Managing Director. As Juris begins to expand its offerings of tailored financial solutions for commercial claimants, top-tier law firms and litigation boutiques, Lund will play a leading role in developing and executing new strategies for the firm. With the addition of Lund, Juris will offer more bespoke solutions for a wide range of cost needs, whether in the hundreds of thousands or millions. With over a decade of legal and financial experience, Dane brings valuable insight to Juris Capital. Dane has worked across a breadth of industries, including legal services, banking, litigation finance, and blockchain services, providing unique perspectives that can propel Juris’ business forward. "I am honored to join Juris Capital, an industry pioneer and one of the most successful firms in legal finance," said Lund. "I look forward to furthering Juris Capital's mission of providing innovative, client-focused solutions. I envision Juris growing to become not only a commercial litigation funder of choice, but also a balance sheet partner to the most innovative law firms in the country." About Juris Capital: Juris Capital is a capital partner to commercial litigants and law firms that has led financings ranging from $250k-$29mm. Since 2009, Juris has set a standard for ethical and collaborative legal financing. Juris helps commercial claimants and law firms manage litigation risk, pursue meritorious claims despite high litigation costs, and reallocate capital to core business purposes. Juris also works directly with law firms to help optimize their balance sheets, enable thoughtful growth and expand firm offerings. Dane Lund: dlund@juriscapitalcorp.com Juris Capital: www.juriscapitalcorp.com
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Quantum Data Analysis Meets Litigation Finance and Investment

By John Freund |
While engaging quantum computing across the legal spectrum is still in its infancy, litigation funders are increasingly looking to manage financial risk exposure with in-house data analytics systems. A new article pressure tests the most evident matters concerning quantum data and litigation finance.  Mondaq reports on how litigation financiers are integrating algorithmic data tools into their decision making. With the potential of billions of dollars in proceeds, it is important to understand the impact of data architecture through self inventory, extraction and analysis. Spotting holes in data systems is essential, and should be encouraged to promote a nimble innovation strategy within an organization.  Current popular uses of data analysis in litigation finance include quantifiable forecasts of economic harm caused by defendant actions, and contemplation of settlement proposals. Devising solutions to mitigate data disasters is also a prime concern for third party funding. For example, some litigation funders are compiling “data literacy” manuals to increase and enhance engagement between colleagues.   The future of quantum data analysis in litigation finance will belong to those who conceptualize systems that maximize ROI and improve operational efficiencies.  

LegalPay Awarded the Best LegalTech Startup of the Year by Entrepreneur India at Tech and Innovation Summit 2024

By John Freund |

LegalPay, India's leading litigation finance company, has been named the BEST LEGALTECH STARTUP OF THE YEAR by Entrepreneur India at the prestigious Tech and Innovation Summit 2024. This recognition underscores LegalPay's unwavering commitment to revolutionizing the legal finance landscape and empowering businesses with innovative solutions.

LegalPay tackles the chronic issue of delayed payments faced by businesses. Their groundbreaking financing solution, QuickSettle, offers a lifeline to thousands of businesses struggling with cash flow. QuickSettle provides immediate funding to creditors, allowing them to receive their dues upfront. Simultaneously, debtors benefit from flexible repayment plans, easing financial strain and facilitating a win-win outcome for all parties involved.

"In today's dynamic economic climate, access to flexible financing solutions is vital for businesses to thrive," says Mr. Kundan Shahi, Founder & CEO of LegalPay. "We are incredibly honored to be recognized by Entrepreneur India. This award is a testament to our steadfast dedication to pushing the boundaries of innovation in the legal finance industry. We remain committed to empowering businesses and fostering a culture of faster dispute resolution in India."

LegalPay’s innovation transcends traditional boundaries. By bridging the gap between creditors and debtors, QuickSettle fosters collaboration and trust, reducing the need for costly litigation. In today’s dynamic business landscape, access to working capital is paramount. QuickSettle liberates working capital, allowing businesses to focus on growth and expansion.

The recognition from Entrepreneur India serves as a testament to LegalPay's dedication to pushing the boundaries of innovation in the legal and financial technology sector. As businesses continue to seek efficient and sustainable solutions to recover their dues, LegalPay remains steadfast in its mission to empower businesses and drive positive change in the industry.

About LegalPay:

Founded in 2019 by Kundan Shahi, LegalPay has emerged as India's largest litigation funding company, currently managing over USD 400 Million worth of claims. Through innovative solutions like QuickSettle, LegalPay empowers businesses to navigate financial hurdles seamlessly and unlock their true potential.

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Industry Reacts to UK Government’s Announcement of Legislation to Reverse PACCAR Ruling

By John Freund |
Earlier this week, LFJ covered the announcement by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) that it would introduce new legislation to reverse the effects of the Supreme Court’s PACCAR ruling, and protect access to third-party litigation funding. As part of this announcement, the government also revealed that it would be conducting a review of litigation funding, to ensure that claimants who access funding receive an adequate share of any compensation secured through funded litigation. Since the announcement, we have seen a variety of responses from litigation funders and legal professionals, as the industry looks towards the future of litigation finance in the UK. Reacting to the announcement on Monday, Factor Risk Management’s managing director, Mohsin Patel, described it as ‘very welcome news to funders, claimants and lawyers alike’, adding that the proposed law ‘will provide much needed certainty and clarity for stakeholders in future.’ However, he voiced caution around the Government’s plans for reform of litigation funding in the UK, emphasising that it should not ‘take any steps that may jeopardise its development.’ The president of the Law Society of England and Wales, Nick Emmerson said that his organisation welcomed ‘the UK government’s aim of helping the public achieve access to justice.’ With regards to the planned review of the litigation finance market, he acknowledged that ‘there could be merit in a review,’ but suggested that the government should consider ‘the risk of the funding arrangement rendering any victory hollow for the consumers affected.’ A statement from Martyn Day, co-president of The Collective Redress Lawyers Association (CORLA), described the government’s plans as ‘a very sensible and welcome development’ and suggested that the new legislation would prevent ‘corporations tying up court time and money in trying to unpick the funding agreements that make the claims possible.’ Similarly to other industry figures, Day argued that any planned reforms around the funding of collective actions ‘must build on today’s welcome announcement and not undermine it.’ Furthermore, he expressed CORLA’s willingness to ‘work closely with government on any reform that gives clarity, certainty and fairness to claimants and those who support them in bringing their claims.’ In a letter to the Financial Times, Steven Friel, chief executive of Woodsford, focused on the Lord Chancellor’s suggestion that as part of the review of litigation funding, it would consider a cap on the fees paid to litigation funders. Friel stated that instituting a cap ‘would be a mistake’, arguing that with a competitive market already providing a measure of self-regulation on fees, ‘a cap that will inevitably be lower than the market is prepared to go on some cases will cause many meritorious claims to become economically unviable to fund.’ Instead, Friel suggested that the government should ‘redirect the obligation to pay some or all of the litigation funding fees from the victims to the wrongdoers.’ Tets Ishikawa, managing director of LionFish Litigation Finance, offered a similar verdict on the government’s intention to conduct a review into third-party funding, arguing that recoverability of funders’ fees is the best solution. Ishikawa suggested that ‘allowing recoverability would allow the funding industry to support the many impecunious clients with cases smaller than the Post Office matter that we currently have to turn away.’ Jack Bradley-Seddon, partner and litigation funding specialist at Thaxted Capital, celebrated the ‘positive tone in the announcement’ and highlighted that it  was a welcome contrast with ‘a lot of the negative sentiment that has been printed about the industry previously.’ He went on to caution that ‘the devil will be in the detail’ of the proposed legislation, noting that there is ‘a big difference between positive soundbites before an election, and a precise and carefully worded piece of legislation that actually fixes the problem.’

$18 Million Settlement Agreed in Merivale Underpayment Class Action

By John Freund |
The strength of litigation funding for class actions in Australia continues to be demonstrated, as a class action representing underpaid hospitality workers has reached a multimillion dollar settlement with the employer. An article in the Australian Financial Review covers the resolution of a class action brought against hospitality company, Merivale, who has agreed to a without-admission settlement of $18 million. If approved by the Federal Court, $8.6 million of the settlement will be distributed to cover the legal costs and the commission for the class action’s litigation funder, ICP Funding. The class action was brought against the hospitality giant over allegations that it had underpaid around 14,000 employees, with the total amount of unpaid wages amounting to $129 million. The lawsuit alleged that Merivale had been relying on an outdated ‘WorkChoices’ agreement from 2007, which had not been legitimately approved and failed to meet the industry award. Despite agreeing to settle the case, Merivale’s spokesperson said that the company “strongly denies these allegations and continues to do so.” The group action’s members were represented in the case by Adero Law, with the costs of the case covered by ICP Funding. The terms of the settlement agreement would see the funder receive roughly 25% of the total amount, with $2.5 million for costs and $4.4 million as commission. Adero would receive $1.25 million for its deferred costs, plus $500,000 to cover its administration costs for distributing the remaining settlement.

Ontario Court Approves Funding Arrangements in Class Actions Targeting Canadian Banks

By John Freund |
Within North America, it is the US market which sees the majority of activity when it comes to funded litigation. However, north of the border, there are still viable opportunities for funders to engage with, as has been demonstrated by an Ontario court’s decision to approve the funding agreements in a number of class actions brought against Canadian banks. An article on Advisor.ca highlights a decision by Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice to approve third-party funding arrangements for several proposed class actions targeting four of Canada’s largest banks. The class actions are being brought against Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Bank of Nova Scotia, and Royal Bank of Canada, over allegations that these financial institutions improperly charged their customers with ‘duplicative insufficient funds (NSF) fees for failed pre-authorized debit (PAD) transactions.’ Whilst each of the class actions is technically a separate lawsuit, due to the similarities and overlap between the claims, the Superior Court provided a single ruling to approve the litigation funding arrangements for all four cases. As part of its ruling, the court approved the scale of the funder’s returns, which will vary between 7% and 12% of any final damages awarded, based on the point at which the case is settled or resolved. In addition, the court found that the funder had sufficient capital to cover a costs award, if the defendants are successful in the cases. In its ruling, the Superior Court wrote that the terms of the funding agreements allowed for “a reasonable reward for the funder in exchange for providing the necessary costs indemnity and disbursement funding.” Appearing to acknowledge the importance of third-party funding in such cases, the court went on to say that “the funding agreements are thus necessary to facilitate access to justice for the class, and promote behaviour modification.” With the funding agreements approved and the plaintiffs’ motions approved, the class actions are now able to proceed.

Proposed Litigation Funding Disclosure Rule Rejected by Supreme Court Of New Jersey’s Civil Practice Committee

By John Freund |
Moves by state legislatures to introduce new laws governing litigation financing have dominated much of the recent conversation around the regulation of third-party funding. However, the roles of state and federal courts in implementing rules around funding disclosure are helping to shape the future of litigation finance in the US. Reporting by The National Law Review provides an overview of the decision by the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s Civil Practice Committee to reject a proposal that would require the disclosure of litigation funding arrangements at the start of any civil lawsuit. The proposal had been brought by the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute, which had argued that such a rule would provide transparency around third-party litigation funding, and would ensure that all parties were aware of funding arrangements that could affect resolution and settlement proceedings. In its rejection of the proposed rule, the Committee argued that it did not have the “sufficient experience to meaningfully develop a rule change at this time,” and suggested that attempts to draft such a rule “may prove difficult.” Whilst the Committee has declined to introduce a disclosure rule at this time, it acknowledged that legal or regulatory developments may require the issue to be revisited “at some point in the future.” The Committee’s decision stands in contrast to the action taken by the District Court for the District of New Jersey in 2021, when it passed Local Civil Rule 7.1.1. This rule requires the disclosure of information surrounding litigation funding, including the identity of the funder and their financial interest in the case, for all cases in New Jersey’s federal courts. The District Court’s decision echoed similar moves to introduce a disclosure rule by many federal District Courts across the country, along with six United States Courts of Appeal.

Counsel Financial Announces $25M Equity Transaction and Launch of New Loan Servicing Business

By John Freund |
Counsel Financial, a pioneer in providing financing solutions to the plaintiffs’ bar, is proud to announce the successful close of a $25 million private equity transaction and the launch of its innovative loan servicing business. This strategic development marks a significant milestone in the company’s 25-year history. “Our team possesses unparalleled technology-enabled underwriting and monitoring capabilities, and we look forward to institutional investors leveraging our experience through our enhanced servicing platform,” said Counsel Financial President and CEO Paul Cody. The equity transaction has paved the way for Counsel Financial to renew and extend its nearly $200 million in credit facilities, enhancing its capacity to support law firms with efficient and flexible financing options. Counsel Financial’s equity partners have expanded access to hundreds of millions of investment capital in support of the company’s law firm financing strategies. This influx of capital and confidence from financing partners underscores Counsel Financial’s strong position in the market and its commitment to serving the unique needs of law firms and their clients. The rollout of the loan servicing business represents a natural extension of Counsel Financial’s expertise in underwriting plaintiffs’ law firms and managing contingent fee case collateral. Designed to cater to institutional investors, the new technology-enabled servicing platform offers a comprehensive suite of tools for underwriting, managing, and valuing litigation finance assets, enabling clients to leverage decades of industry experience and a vast repository of historical data to provide unmatched oversight and investment insights. About Counsel Financial Counsel Financial is an industry leader in originating, underwriting and servicing loans and other financing solutions for contingent fee law firms. For over two decades, Counsel Financial has provided more than $2 billion in capital investments across 300+ law firms. These investments have financed the growth of firms in every area of plaintiffs’ litigation, including personal injury, mass torts, class action and labor and employment.
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Burford Capital Hires Judgement Enforcement and Foreign Asset Recovery Expert

By John Freund |
When talking about the benefits of third-party funding, litigation funders are often keen to talk about the expertise they can bring in the areas of judgement enforcement and collection. One funder is demonstrating its own commitment to this field, as it has hired a leading judgement enforcement expert to bolster its own team. An article in The American Lawyer highlights Burford Capital’s recruitment of Carrie Tendler, a former partner at Kobre & Kim, to strengthen its judgement enforcement team through her expertise in foreign asset recovery. Tendler brings 16 years of experience at Kobre & Kim to her new role at the litigation funder, having led a practice focused on international judgment enforcement and cross-border asset forfeiture and recovery.  Discussing her new role at Burford, Tendler explained she would focus on helping Burford “in those types of situations where they are the stakeholder in international judgment claims to better manage, strategize and fulfill the role of an in-house litigator.” Tendler also used the interview to offer praise for the value that third-party funding has brought to the legal system, stating: “Lawyers are able to take cases that we wouldn’t have been able to take without the benefit of financing, and claims get adjudicated that should be adjudicated, and that’s all enabled by litigation finance.” It is no coincidence that this recent hire aligns with Burford’s efforts to enforce the $16 billion judgement in the Argentina YPF case, as the funder is in the middle of pursuing a variety of routes to collect the award. Referencing the YPF example, Tendler explained that Burford has many such cases “where Burford is a stakeholder where they need to enforce judgments and having someone full time working on the enforcement of those judgments is my new role.” Burford’s CEO, Christopher Bogart highlighted Tendler as “a leader in global enforcement and cross-border asset recovery”, and stated that the firm is excited to bring “her skillset to our already exceptional asset recovery team, with a particular focus on the YPF matter.”

Keller Postman UK merges with Lanier, Longstaff, Hedar & Roberts to form specialist collective redress law firm KP Law Limited

By John Freund |
Today Keller Postman UK Limited and Lanier, Longstaff, Hedar & Roberts LLP announce their merger to form a new specialist collective redress law firm called KP Law Limited. The merged firm will specialize in bringing large scale consumer claims in the areas of product liability, workers’ rights, data breach and privacy, investment fraud and financial products mis- selling, and competition law. The merged firm will also pursue in the UK and Europe cases being brought by The Lanier Law Firm in the US, which well-known US trial lawyer Mark Lanier heads up. Andrew Nugent Smith, formerly Managing Partner of Keller Postman UK, will be Managing Partner of the new firm, with Tom Longstaff and Duncan Hedar becoming Partners and taking on the roles of Head of Product Liability and Head of Competition, respectively. Keller Postman UK has previously resolved diesel emissions claims against Volkswagen, workers’ rights claims against Uber, and data breach claims against British Airways, Ticketmaster, and Equifax. Ongoing cases for the firm include further diesel emissions claims against Mercedes and Vauxhall, equal pay cases against the major UK supermarkets, and a number of other large group actions. The new KP Law will also continue to pursue claims against talcum powder manufacturers previously brought by Lanier, Longstaff, Hedar & Roberts, with many other large group actions in the pipeline. Mark Lanier commented: “This merger represents an extremely important and significant collaboration for the Lanier Law Firm as we continue to be strategic in developing relationships with firms internationally. I’m thrilled and excited at what a positive development this is for our clients. It’s equally important to me that we are continuing our partnership with Tom Longstaff and Duncan Hedar who are, without a doubt, two of the finest lawyers in the UK.” Andrew Nugent Smith commented: “This merger adds new product liability and competition law expertise to our existing workers’ rights, data breach and privacy, financial products and investment fraud and mis-selling practices. In Tom Longstaff and Duncan Hedar, we gain two stellar collective redress lawyers with the ability to develop and progress collective redress cases, and we are incredibly excited by the opportunity to collaborate with The Lanier Law Firm in the US.” Tom Longstaff commented: “We are delighted to join forces with Keller Postman UK which will allow us to benefit from their established position in the collective redress ecosystem and to increase the pace and scale at which we can bring a large number of opportunities we have developed in the short time that Lanier, Longstaff, Hedar & Roberts has been operating.”
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South American Countries File Briefs in Support of Argentina’s Appeal of $16 Billion Judgment 

By John Freund |
Whilst most of the conversation about the $16 billion judgement in the YPF Argentina case has focused on attempts by Burford Capital to collect on the award, this does not mean that the Argentine government has simply given up on continuing its fight against the judgment. In what is perhaps the most significant geopolitical development in the case yet, Argentina’s regional neighbours have joined its legal fight to appeal the US court’s decision. An article in The Financial Times highlights the growing level of global attention focused on the $16 billion judgment faced by Argentina, as its neighbouring countries have lent their support by filing briefs in support of Argentina’s appeal to the US Court of Appeals. In a bold sign of regional solidarity, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Ecuador have all signed on to briefs in support of Argentina’s appeal, arguing that upholding the judgment would amount to a violation of national sovereignty. The brief filed by lawyers for Brazil and Uruguay stated that they were concerned the court’s judgement had “misapplied crucial doctrines that are designed to ensure respect for the prerogatives of foreign sovereigns and their courts, protect foreign litigants from the burdens of litigating in the United States, and safeguard against the misapplication of foreign law.” Furthermore, the brief argued that the multibillion-dollar award had created an undue burden on Argentina, saying that “the people of the region should not be forced to endure the economic consequences of a judgment that flagrantly misapplies the governing law, entered by a court that never should have exercised jurisdiction in the first place”. The second brief, signed by Chile and Ecuador, focused on the effect this judgment might have on South American businesses, arguing that it could make these regional companies hesitant about engaging in US markets. The brief argued that “the threat of increased and wide-roaming judgments by US courts, based on only the most tenuous connections to the US” may have wider ramifications for commerce between South American and US corporations.

LitFin Hosts Inaugural LitFin Leap Conference

By John Freund |
In a post on LinkedIn, Prague-based litigation funder LitFin highlighted the success of its inaugural LitFin Leap Conference, which was held at the company’s headquarters last week. The event saw over 50 participants representing 11 European Union countries in attendance, as lawyers from across the continent gathered to discuss the most pressing issues. The morning of the conference featured discussions around a range of topics, with one panel examining the intricacies of competition law private enforcement, and another that looked at the relationship between law firms and litigation funders. The afternoon saw LitFin host the conference attendees on a sightseeing tour of Prague, followed by an evening set aside for informal networking and drinks. Ondřej Tyleček, partner at LitFin, thanked those who participated in the event, saying: “It warms my to know that we have so many great legal professionals from all corners of EU around us at LitFin, many of whom we can call friends.”

An LFJ Conversation with Harish Daiya

By John Freund |

Harish Daiya is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lumenci. He is based out of Austin, Texas and oversees the company’s operation across all global offices. With over 15 years of industry experience in technical consulting in IP litigation and licensing, Harish has been a part of $2B+ in IP value creation.

Harish is also a member of the Forbes Business Council, where he regularly writes Thought Leadership pieces and shares ideas on global impact. Harish has also been a serial entrepreneur and angel investor for several successful startups. As the CEO, Harish is elemental in driving Lumenci’s vision, goals, sales, and revenue. He oversees organizational growth, business strategy, people culture, client relationships, business development, strategic partnerships, and launching new businesses.
 
Below is our LFJ Conversation with Harish Daiya:
 
Lumenci is a full-service technology consulting firm that uses domain expertise and automation to create value from technical innovations. Can you unpack that for us?
 

At Lumenci, we provide turnkey solutions to generate value from patent assets. What started as a technical consulting team has, over time, evolved into a team of like-minded experts, engineers, and deal makers who find innovative ways to commercialize the value of the patents. 

We frequently engage with deep-tech companies (and their investors) with sizeable patent portfolios that want to understand and estimate the value of their patents, which requires thoroughly examining their patent portfolio, deep diving into the invention/inventor story, and identifying assets that can generate maximum returns. This could also mean assisting the client in developing patents and selecting the best out of the lot for monetization. Our analysis and strategies to customers drive tangible value out of intangible assets, with more tech companies becoming more aware of the value of intellectual property. Our global clientele is now expanding with more requirements on the ‘how’ than the ‘what.’  

How does Lumenci help patent owners, law firms, and litigation funders during IP litigation?

Lumenci has supported AMLaw100 law firms in over 175 patent litigation matters, on both plaintiff and defense, across the US, EU, China, India, and Brazil, and has helped generate over $3B in verdicts, settlements, licensing revenues, and cost savings. Our team has successfully represented as technology consultants in high-stakes patent litigation lifecycle in creating high-quality litigation grade claim charts, drafting complaints, investigating confidential source code under the protective order, documentation review, expert reports prep, and supporting our law firm customers during deposition and trial.

Lumenci’s vast experience of supporting multiple high-stakes cases through the trial is beneficial to patent owners in not only validating the merits of a patent portfolio from a technology and valuation standpoint but also getting a turnkey solution to craft the right story, raise capital via litigation funding or insurance, engage with law firms, and get insights throughout the commercialization lifecycle. 

Our experts advise litigation funders with in-depth technology and valuation due diligence and help them identify the risks of a potential investment. Our experience with litigation funders has yielded them to mitigate high investment risks by identifying the underlying potential of patent assets, the risk of a commercialization campaign, and strategies on how to mitigate them. 

What is the role of due diligence and technical analysis in the patent litigation lifecycle?

Foundational, to sum it up in a word. 

Lumenci conducts due diligence on the company’s patent assets, highlighting relevance w.r.t technology evolution, assessing validity w.r.t section patentable subject matter, novelty and obviousness, scoping enforceability across the industry, and outlining the damages potential. This process becomes integral to the initial stages of a patent commercialization process. In addition, venue consideration is an important aspect of the diligence.  This due diligence forms the basis of building infallible evidence, which is critical in supporting a high-stakes commercialization campaign. 

How does the technical analysis process work? Are you able to analyze any technical domain?

We support high-stakes patent commercializing and litigation campaigns from day 1 through trial and specialize in technology domains like Software, Telecom/Networking, Semiconductors, and Medical Devices.  We support our law firm customers in maintaining and constantly upgrading the state of infringement or non-infringement evidence, and validity or invalidity evidence as a case progresses by analyzing source code, reverse engineering hardware, testing prior art systems, and conducting complex testing of telecom/networking devices. Lumenci is well known in the industry for "illuminating innovation”, i.e. finding key pieces of evidence which can be material in affecting the outcome of a case, on both the plaintiff and defense side.

What trends are you seeing in the patent space that is relevant to litigation funders specifically, and how does Lumenci's service fit into those trends?

As litigation costs, especially in the US, continue to increase, the level of pre-intake diligence by the litigation funders also continues to increase. For the funders, this means having access to or relationships with technical and damages diligence teams that can provide priority and prompt support to their diligence needs is essential. The litigation funders that have these relationships ironed can out-compete their peers in terms of speed and depth of decision-making. Lumenci with its trained teams in various parts of the patent monetization and litigation cycle in over 10 countries, offers this depth and speed that is virtually unmatched at scale.

Despite the rising interest rates and dire macroeconomic conditions, the growing number of litigation cases and the emerging secondary market for litigation finance claims highlight the pertinence of litigation funding. Litigation funders are particularly interested in understanding the underlying potential of patent assets and mitigation potential before investing in a case. Additionally, operating technology companies continue to find creative ways to generate revenue and many patent assets are coming to the market which have little to no diligence done on them. Lumenci’s in-depth expertise in technical due diligence, validity assessment, damages assessment, and experience in handling high-stakes patent litigation matters are highly valued by litigation funders and insurance underwriters in making informed decisions on their investments in patent asset commercialization campaigns.

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The Opportunities and Limitations of AI for Litigation Finance

By John Freund |
In December of last year, LFJ hosted a digital event on the topic of LegalTech and Litigation Finance, examining the variety of technology solutions that litigation funders are already using, and those technologies that may transform the future of the industry. New reporting provides additional insight into the adoption of emergent technology by funders, with many firms hoping to take advantage of AI tools to gain a competitive edge. An article in Bloomberg Law provides an in-depth look at the use of AI by litigation funders, highlighting how newer entrants to the market have adopted it to accelerate their growth, whilst also examining where the limits of this technology still exist. One of the most common applications for AI in the field of litigation finance is the discovery and identification of potential cases to fund, with Legalist and Qanlex recognised as two companies leading the way in this area. Legalist has created its own “truffle sniffer” algorithm to search for cases defined by a set of parameters, whilst Qanlex has built its own proprietary “Case Miner” software to both identify cases and contact those parties whose cases are most suitable. However, senior executives from both companies acknowledge that there are limits to what AI can do for their businesses. Legalist’s CEO, Eva Shang, emphasises that “there’s still a very important human component”, and that AI tools are not yet in a position to “do things that an underwriter would normally do.” Qanlex’s co-founder, Yago Zavalia Gahan said that whilst their Case Miner software allows the company to maximise the efficiency of its lead sourcing, litigation funding remains “a relationship-based business.” Apex Litigation Finance is another funder that utilises in-house AI tools, but according to its CEO, Maurice Power, it is only used in conjunction with human assessment of potential funding opportunities. Power says that AI’s limitations around creating accurate predictions of case outcomes largely stem from its data foundations, explaining that “for any AI predictive analytics model to be really effective, it’s only as good as the data that it has available to it.” For funders like Burford Capital and Parabellum Capital, AI can provide useful benefits in limited applications, but both funders are firm in their assertion that the human element cannot be so easily removed. David Perla, co-chief operating officer at Burford, firmly argues that AI is not a magic bullet and, at present, “no one’s got a tool where you could push a button and say, wow, this is an order of magnitude better—you still have to read the case.” Likewise, Parabellum’s managing director, Angela Ni identifies case management as an area where AI has been most useful to help track and analyse the vast amounts of information involved in a portfolio of cases.

Ministry of Justice Announces New Law to Protect Litigation Funding

By John Freund |
Ever since the Supreme Court’s ruling in PACCAR, litigation funders and legal professionals have been vocal in their desire to see the UK government act to protect access to third-party funding. After months of optimistic statements from ministers and MPs, the Ministry of Justice has revealed that it will soon be taking direct legislative action to reverse the Supreme Court’s judgement.  In an announcement released today, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) said that the Lord Chancellor, Alex Chalk, will be introducing new legislation to ‘make it easier for members of the public to secure the financial backing of third parties when launching complex claims against moneyed corporations.’ The MoJ’s announcement states that the new law ‘will restore the position that existed before the Supreme Court’s ruling last year,’ effectively nullifying the impact of the PACCAR judgement. The announcement clarified that this new legislation will be introduced to Parliament shortly but will only apply to cases taking place in England and Wales. In addition to the planned legislation, the MOJ stated it was ‘considering options for a wider review of the sector and how third-party litigation funding is carried out.’ The review would examine ‘whether there is a need for increased regulation or safeguards for people bringing claims to court,’ with the government acknowledging the growing prevalence of third-party funding. Whilst there was no indication of when or how this review might be conducted, the MOJ said that ‘the next steps and any Terms of Reference of the review will be set out in due course.’ In a separate opinion piece for The Financial Times, Chalk explained the necessity of introducing this new legislation, citing the important role that litigation funding played in the Post Office case and arguing that it was crucial to ensure ‘that justice is available to all, and not merely the preserve of those with deep pockets.’ Referencing the potential review of litigation finance, Chalk highlighted the fact that the funders of the Post Office litigation ‘received £46MM of the £58MM awarded’, whilst the actual claimants were left with ‘a fraction of the total award.’ He emphasised that the government is aiming ‘to strike the right balance between access to justice and fairness for claimants.’

LegalPay aims to double litigation funding AUM to $1B by end of 2024

By John Freund |
LegalPay, India's leading litigation funding company, today announced it has successfully managed claims worth USD 400 million since 2020 empowering over 1,000 businesses to recover their pending dues and navigate legal complexities. Building on this momentum, LegalPay aims to more than double the claims under management at USD 1 billion and add 4000 new cases every month by the end of calendar year 2024. “Reaching this significant milestone fills us with immense pride, and we are humbled by the positive impact we havemade on over 1,000 businesses and the 40,000 disputes wehave helped navigate. It reflects our commitment to empowering businesses with innovative financial solutions to manage their legal challenges,” said Kundan Shahi, Founder & CEO of LegalPay. Fueling this growth is LegalPay's unwavering commitment to technological advancements. The company's proprietary risk assessment algorithm fosters balanced risk management for funded cases, while the groundbreaking notice automation system allows for the effortless dispatch of up to 20,000 notices with a single click. LegalPay recently launched QuickSettle, a complimentary service to its core litigation funding offering. This innovative solution provides creditors with immediate access to their pending dues, bolstering their working capital and providing much-needed liquidity. At the same time, debtors benefit from the flexibility of no-cost EMIs, facilitating dispute resolution without compromising their financial stability. QuickSettle is proving to be a game-changer for MSMEs & SMEs, helping them streamline their collections and recovery issues. By avoiding litigation costs for businesses, QuickSettle is not only saving money but also time and resources. The user-friendly technology behind QuickSettle will play a crucial role in facilitating the pending dues for businesses and help them automate & digitalize their collections. Founder & CEO Kundan Shahi commented, "At LegalPay, our mission has always been to empower businesses and provide them with the tools they need to thrive. With QuickSettle, we're taking a giant leap forward in achieving this goal. By revolutionizing the debt recovery process and minimizing the financial strain on both creditors and debtors, QuickSettle epitomizes our commitment to innovation and client-centric solutions." LegalPay is committed to fostering a legal ecosystem where businesses can access justice and manage litigation effectively, ultimately contributing to a stronger and more equitable economic environment. About LegalPay LegalPay is India's leading litigation funding company, enabling businesses to recover their pending dues and manage legal challenges with innovative financial solutions and advanced technology. Through an unwavering commitment to innovation, LegalPay offers a suite of solutions, including traditional litigation funding and the recently launched QuickSettle, that enable businesses to recover pending dues and achieve sustainable growth. With $400 Million in claims under management, LegalPay is reshaping the way businesses approach and conquer legal challenges.
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Proposals for an ‘Ethically Sound And Financially Robust’ Future of Litigation Funding

By John Freund |
As we look forward to the next decade of litigation funding, it appears that the loudest voices discussing what the industry might look like are coming from outside the sector. However, a new article from a European funder argues that the industry’s own leaders should take a proactive stance towards shaping the future of litigation finance. In a blog post on LinkedIn, Gabriel Olearnik, partner and head of special situations at LitFin, offers his thoughts on the future of litigation funding, and how the industry can continue to grow. Olearnik frames the article from his own personal perspective, suggesting that his views on the subject may be considered ‘heretical’ to some. He argues that in order for the funding industry to grow in a sustainable manner, ‘we must address the inherent challenges and ethical dilemmas it presents with clarity and dynamism.’ In the first of four proposals that Olearnik puts forward, he suggests that there should be a cap on funders’ returns that is equal to 50% of the total awarded damages. He argues that this is not suggested to stifle growth, but rather ‘ensure that the primary beneficiary of litigation funding is justice itself, not profit.’ Whilst Olearnik allows for the option for the cap to be non-binding, he believes that implementing such a measure would ‘maintain the integrity of the legal process.’ Olearnik’s second proposal is ‘the creation of specialised training and education programs’ designed to increase both the awareness and understanding of third-party funding in the next generation of legal and investment professionals. Moving beyond education for the existing legal industry workforce, he argues that these programs could ‘attract a new generation of ethical, socially conscious professionals to this vital industry.’ Moving from education to oversight, Olearnik recommends that the industry introduce ‘regulation of the senior management suite of litigation funders is crucial’, with these regulations being aligned ‘with the Approved Persons Regime under the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA)’. He points out that by adopting these standards, litigation funders can ‘safeguard the industry from potential abuses and foster a culture of integrity and accountability.’  Finally, Olearnik proposes the introduction of measures that would ‘avoid conflicts of interest and ensure capital adequacy’, arguing that these rules can not only ‘protect the interests of those seeking justice but also maintain the stability and reputation of the litigation funding sector.’

A Funder’s Perspective on Climate Litigation 

By John Freund |
Although ESG investing is often viewed as a buzzword that lacks specificity and defined guidelines, it is clear that litigation funders have a growing appetite for lawsuits that tackle climate change and environmental impact issues. In a post on LinkedIn, Nivalion highlights the investor’s perspective on funding climate cases, examining both the challenges inherent to these lawsuits and the opportunities that they present for funders willing to back such claims. The funder begins by citing data from UNEP reporting which shows that the number of climate lawsuits being heard globally has risen from 900 in 2017, to nearly 2,200 in 2020. When it comes to jurisdiction, the majority of these cases are being brought in the United States, with less than 20% taking place in developing nations. In terms of the main challenges facing funders when assessing these cases, Nivalion states that there is often a lack of precedent for the claims being brought, especially in European courts. However, Nivalion cites a report from the London School of Economics that shows, when considered globally, ‘55% of cases brought have had a climate-positive ruling’. As a result, whilst there are plenty of cases for funders to consider, climate lawsuits in Europe represent an increased risk profile and are ‘more difficult to assess than the previous cases the Litigation Funding Industry has been funding.’ With this increased risk profile, Nivalion explains that funders may be able to commit to some of these climate lawsuits, as long as their overall portfolio structure is balanced and contains enough cases that have a higher probability of success. Similarly, funders are careful to consider the extended duration that climate litigation can entail, and may need to adjust their pricing terms when investing in these lawsuits.

Burford Capital Exploring Argentina’s Currency Swap Line with China to Satisfy $16 Billion Judgement

By John Freund |
Ever since the landmark $16 billion judgement in the Argentina YPF case, the majority of commentary and discussion has focused on just one question: will it be possible to enforce a judgement of this size? With Burford Capital having previously pressured the court to begin the asset seizure process, it now appears the funder is exploring innovative routes to seeing the Argentine government satisfy its payment obligations. An article in Buenos Aires Times covers the latest developments in Burford Capital’s campaign to collect on the mammoth $16 billion judgement, as the funder is reportedly investigating using Argentina’s $18 billion currency swap line with China to satisfy the outstanding debt. No details are offered as to how this particular mechanism could be leveraged, but Burford filed an information request in federal court in New York on Tuesday, which ‘sought information on various overseas assets held by Argentina.’ Burford has reportedly filed at least 30 of these information requests and is seeking details around ‘YPF shares and dividends paid by the company, overseas commercial transactions and bank accounts, and reserves of gold and precious metals held abroad.’ Burford’s lawyers have stated that Argentina has refused to respond to any requests for information on assets held by the country’s Central Bank, with the governments stating these assets are ‘immune from attachment.’

Omni Bridgeway Releases Interim Financial Report

By John Freund |
The Directors present their report (referred to hereafter as the “Interim Financial Report”), together with the financial statements, on the consolidated entity (referred to hereafter as the "consolidated entity" or "the Group") consisting of Omni Bridgeway Limited (referred to hereafter as "OBL", "the Company" or "the Parent") and the entities it controlled at the end of, or during, the half year ended 31 December 2023. Directors The names of the Company's Directors in office during the half year ended 31 December 2023 and until the date of this report are as below. Unless stated otherwise, the Directors were in office for this entire period. Michael Kay - Non-Executive Chairman Andrew Saker - Managing Director & CEO (retired 26 October 2023) Raymond van Hulst - Managing Director & CEO (appointed 26 October 2023), former Executive Director and Co-Chief Investment Officer – EMEA Michael Green - Non-Executive Director Karen Phin - Non-Executive Director Christine Feldmanis - Non-Executive Director   Highlights for the half year ended 31 December 2023 Operational highlights1
  • US$485 million2 first close of Fund 4 and Fund 5 series II capital raise on improved cost coverage terms.
  • €135 million first tranche of debt capital raised for our €300 million Fund 8, focused on global enforcement investments.
  • Significant expansion of our capabilities in the UK, the world's second largest litigation finance market.
  • Investment income of $235.7 million, including income yet to be recognised, with $50.1 million provisionally attributable to OBL.
  • 12 full completions, 6 partial completions, and a secondary market transaction achieving an overall MOIC of 2.4x, and an IRR of 55%.
  • US$21.5 million cash proceeds from the sale of a 25% interest in a portfolio of 15 intellectual property (IP) investments in Fund 4.
  • $260 million of new investment commitments with 38% improved pricing on FY23.
  • $182 million strong pipeline of new investment opportunities representing a further 29% of our commitments target for the year ending 30 June 2024.
  • Possible investment completions with an estimated portfolio value (EPV) of $5.1 billion over the next 12 months (rolling period).
  • Total cash and receivables of $291.2 million; OBL only cash and receivables of $122.4 million ($80.9 million in OBL balance sheet cash and $40.1 million of OBL share of cash and receivables within Funds), plus $60 million in undrawn debt.
Financial highlights3
  • Total income of $135.8 million (including a net gain on deconsolidation of the Fund 4 IP portfolio) derived from diversified sources comprising litigation completions, a secondary market sale, management fees, and interest revenue.
  • Group profit after tax (before non-controlling interests (NCI)) of $33.4 million (1H23: $30.1 million loss after tax); with $47.6 million loss attributable to OBL (the Group’s equity holders) and $81.0 million profit attributable to NCI.
  • Employee expenses of $34.4 million decreased 12% due to team optimisation, a reduction in contractors and higher capitalised costs of investment managers.
  • Corporate overheads of $9.0 million increased 4% due mainly to the amortisation of the Fund 8 insurance premium, notwithstanding significant reductions in other corporate overhead expenses.
  • Carrying value of litigation investments of $654.7 million (30 June 2023: $596.7 million) across 285 funded litigation investments. Negative case developments including lower than anticipated income, extended duration and adverse milestones associated with a funded law firm portfolio have resulted in a $44.9 million reduction of the carrying value. 
1 Represents non-IFRS information. Here Fund 5 is presented at 100% for consistency of presentation across OBL’s Funds. 2 Inclusive of OBL’s co-funding (OBL’s commitment of US$100 million to each Series II fund is capped at 20% of the ultimate fund size (i.e. after further closings). 3 Per the Group Consolidated Financial Statements. The full Interim Financial Report can be read here. The full 1H24 results Investor Presentation can be read here.
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Member Spotlight: Dinesh Natarajan

By John Freund |

Trident Strategy is a Singapore-based strategic consultancy that Dinesh Natarajan founded and leads as CEO. Dinesh have over 9 years of experience in law, management consulting, and litigation, and helps clients across various sectors and geographies to achieve their goals in the strategic partnerships and sports, media and entertainment industries. Dinesh combines his skills and knowledge in strategy, legal finance, and arbitration to deliver value-added solutions and insights.

Dinesh is also a Network Member at Lexolent, the world's first globally coordinated network for legal finance professionals. Lexolent connects him with a diverse and dynamic community of experts, investors, and innovators in the rapidly growing field of legal finance. He leverages his expertise in sports law and arbitration to advise and support clients on complex and high-stakes legal matters.

Dinesh is passionate about foreign policy, international politics, and youth leadership, and engages in various platforms and initiatives that foster dialogue, collaboration, and social impact. Dinesh serves his community in various roles, such as sitting on the Management Committee of a Hindu temple, the Legal Committee of the Football Association of Singapore, and the Disciplinary & Ethics Committee of the ASEAN Football Federation. He live by the motto: Serve. Lead. Inspire.

Company Name and Description:   Trident Strategy- a consultancy that provides services in the legal and Sports industry.

Company Website: www.trident-strategy.com

Year Founded:  2021

Headquarters:  Singapore

Area of Focus:  Law, strategy, finance, sports, media, entertainment

Member Quote: Keen to establish a Litigation Fund and interested to speak with players in the industry who could be a mentor and/or partner with.

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Lobbyist for ILFA Calls Failure to Disclose Foreign Entities ‘an Oversight’

By John Freund |
As criticism and scrutiny of litigation funding reaches new heights, opponents of the industry will be keeping a close eye on anything that appears to show funders operating in ways that can be framed negatively. A recent article highlights that it is not just funders who are under the spotlight. A newsletter published by Politico earlier this month reported that Miller Strategies, a D.C.-based lobbying firm, said it would update its lobbying disclosures around its work for the International Legal Finance Association (ILFA). These amendments were required, as it had failed to disclose that the following five members of ILFA are foreign companies: Harbour Litigation Funding, Innsworth Advisors Limited, Nivalion AG, Omni Bridgeway and Therium Capital Management. Speaking with Politico, Miller Strategies’ founder and CEO Jeff Miller said that the failure to disclose the foreign entities “was an oversight”, and that the lobbying firm would “amend accordingly.” Miller also added that his firm had paused its work for ILFA at the end of 2023, having been paid a fee of $50,000 per quarter. According to data collated by OpenSecrets, a nonprofit that tracks lobbying spending in U.S. politics, Miller Strategies was paid a total of $110,000 by ILFA in 2023. OpenSecrets tracking also reveals that ILFA paid another lobbying firm, West Front Strategies, $120,000 for its services last year. 

Burford Capital and Sysco File Objections to Judge’s Denial of Substitution of Plaintiff

By John Freund |
As LFJ reported earlier this month, the story of Burford Capital and Sysco’s antitrust lawsuits experienced a new development, with a Minnesota judge denying their joint motions for substitution of plaintiff. As was expected at the time, both the litigation funder and its client have now filed objections and asked the Court to set aside the ruling and allow Burford’s subsidiary to take over the cases. Reporting by Reuters reveals that objections have been filed by both Carina Ventures, a subsidiary of Burford Capital, and Sysco, against U.S. Magistrate Judge John Docherty’s denial of their joint motion for a substitution of plaintiff. The objections, which were filed with the United States District Court of Minnesota on 23 February, both argue that the judge’s order is based on ‘errors of law’. Carina’s filing summarised both parties’ position succinctly, stating that ‘there is no sound policy reason to require Carina to control the prosecution of its claims from the sidelines, rather than litigating them directly in its own name.’ Carina’s objection is formed around two central arguments. Firstly, that Judge Docherty’s order ‘contravenes uniform Eighth Circuit and District Court precedent, as well as the core purposes of Rule 25(c).’ Secondly, that the judge’s ‘public policy reasons for denying substitution are legally erroneous’, with Carina arguing that ‘denial of substitution does not and cannot change Carina’s legal right under the assignment agreement to control the claims.’ Sysco’s objection followed similar arguments around the court’s order running ‘contrary to Rule 25’, whilst also providing three central pillars to its argument around Judge Docherty’s public policy reasoning. Sysco argued that the ‘the public policy favoring settlement also favours substitution’, that the ‘substitution promotes antitrust policy’, and that ‘the doctrine of champerty favors substitution of the claim owner’.  Both Carina Ventures and Sysco concluded their objections by requesting that the Court grant substitution of plaintiff in the antitrust cases.

Silver Bull Provides Update on Its Arbitration Claim Against Mexico

By John Freund |
Silver Bull Resources, Inc. (“Silver Bull” or the “Company”) provides an update on progress with its international arbitration claim against the United Mexican States (“Mexico”). Since our previous update on September 26, 2023, a number of important steps have been achieved in the arbitration process. These include:
  • The appointment of a three-person arbitration panel (the “Tribunal”) by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”). The Tribunal convened its first session with the parties on February 13, 2024.
  • Engagement of a quantum expert by the Company to assess the Company’s claim. The evaluation is underway and will serve as the foundation for determining the value of Silver Bull’s claim against Mexico.
  • Establishment of a definitive timeline agreed upon by both parties and the ICSID Tribunal. Silver Bull anticipates filing its Memorial in May 2024, with the Arbitration hearing slated for October 2025.
  • The Company and its legal representatives at Boies Schiller Flexner continue to prepare the case. Document analysis and interviews with pertinent personnel are progressing as scheduled.
For background on the basis for the arbitration and ongoing updates with respect to the arbitration, please refer to the Company’s website www.silverbullresources.com/news. Regarding the arbitration proceedings, Silver Bull is being represented by the global law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, and is financially supported by Bench Walk Advisors via a Litigation Funding Agreement for up to US$9.5 million to finance the case.
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RESPECTED LITIGATION FINANCIERS UNITE TO LAUNCH NEW VENTURE

By John Freund |
An experienced and agile team today launched Winward Limited (“Winward”), a litigation finance platform focused on being a funder with a lawyer’s mindset. Winward (www.winward.uk) will be run by Jeremy Marshall, its Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director, with committed capital from Rocade Capital. Winward will initially concentrate on funding commercial litigation within Europe and common law jurisdictions although it will also look to capitalise on opportunities that are presented from other jurisdictions that have a mature litigation funding environment. Winward intends to build a balanced portfolio of investments and will aim to work with a select group of law firms and professionals. The initial investment focus is a mixture of litigation and arbitration matters in the fields of antitrust, arbitration, contract, group action, insolvency and tort. Winward’s team is efficient, experienced and is determined to provide a robust service and come to swift and decisive funding decisions, while providing enhanced transparency throughout. Its advisory committee is chaired by Stephen Auld KC, a senior silk from leading chambers One Essex Court in London, and it is comprised of a number of seasoned professionals, all of whom have significant experience of either funding cases or having cases being funded. Wayne Attrill, Arndt Eversberg and Kees Jan Kuilwijk have decades of litigation funding knowledge of, respectively, the Australian, German and Dutch markets. From the UK, Philip Young and Sean Upson, who were senior partners at market-leading litigation practices (Cooke, Young & Keidan and Stewarts Law) will provide essential risk management and litigation skills from the perspective of practising lawyers. Winward is funded by Rocade Capital, a leading litigation finance company backed by one of the world’s leading investment managers. Winward will benefit from a market leading insurance facility provided by co-insurers Arcadian Risk Capital and Litica Ltd. Brian Roth, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Rocade LLC, said “We are excited to be entering the market with the leadership of a litigation finance veteran in Jeremy Marshall.  This launch is an opportunity for us to contribute to moving our industry forward, as Winward will offer market leading solutions with a streamlined process”. Shoosmiths LLP and Walkers advised Winward Limited. Nixon Peabody LLP served as legal advisor to Rocade LLC. Winward’s insurance broker is Howden Broking Group Limited.

Rocade Capital

Rocade LLC is a specialty finance company focused on litigation finance with a long-term investment approach, in partnership with one of the world’s leading investment managers. Since Rocade’s predecessor was founded in 2014, the platform has funded approximately $1.1 billion of investments in the litigation finance space, primarily consisting of loans to leading plaintiff law firms within mass tort and other complex litigation. Rocade Capital’s flexibility, industry expertise, track record and long-term focus position it to be a leader in law firm lending. Rocade has an experienced team of professionals, located in the Washington, DC area and Houston, TX, which includes both finance industry veterans as well as litigation experts. For more information, please visit www.rocadecapital.com.

Jeremy Marshall

Jeremy was formerly the Chief Investment Officer for Bentham Europe (now Innsworth Advisors), the joint venture between IMF Bentham Limited (now Omni Bridgeway) and subsidiary entities of funds managed by Elliott Management Corporation. He was also a Senior Investment Manager with Omni Bridgeway. He is an experienced litigation finance professional, having worked in litigation finance for well over a decade and, prior to that, having been a partner of a London law firm which litigated a number of funded cases. He has been involved in the funding of a wide variety of cases, including the securities case against Tesco PLC in England (which settled) and a similar case against Volkswagen AG (in Germany). He is a regular contributor and commentator in the litigation finance space.
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Recoverability and Enforceability are ‘Frequently Neglected’ in Funding Applications

By John Freund |
As demand for third-party dispute funding increases, funders are keen to educate potential clients about their own processes for evaluating funding applications and what information they are looking for in these applications. An insights post from LCM’s Roger Milburn, investment manager – APAC, examines the importance of focusing on recoverability and enforceability, arguing that it is an area ‘which would benefit from further attention from those seeking funding and which is sometimes overlooked.’ He points out that, when it comes to submitting funding applications, these are the ‘frequently neglected pieces of the puzzle’ that are essential for any funder when assessing the viability of a case. Explaining the issue from a funder’s perspective, Milburn highlights that it is not enough to simply succeed in the legal action, as this alone ‘does not generally trigger obligations to reimburse the funder and make payment of the contractually agreed returns.’ For a funder to be certain that it can achieve a return on its investment, it is important that an applicant for funding has considered whether the target of the claim ‘has the means to satisfy an outcome of the magnitude contemplated’. If the opponent does not have the resources to meet those payment obligations, it is equally important to scrutinise whether ‘assets exist in jurisdictions where the judgment or award can be enforced.’ Milburn goes on to explore nuances around investor cases brought against nation states or state-controlled entities, noting that whilst it is commonly assumed these states will always have assets to satisfy an award, ‘the question for a funder is whether and how such assets may be seized.’ As a result, prospective clients should aim to provide information around the target state’s history of paying arbitral awards, or what enforcement mechanisms are available for that given jurisdiction. Milburn’s full post, which also provides insights on specific conventions and treaty instruments that manage arbitral award enforcement, can be read here.