Funding

Senior Costs Judge sets aside “unfair and unreasonable” CFA

ACL Roundtable

The Senior Costs Judge has ruled a law firm’s conditional fee agreement (CFA) unfair because it failed to ensure that its client – whose English was poor – fully understood what he was signing. Setting aside the agreement, Master Gordon-Saker said the CFA was also unreasonable because of the high hourly rates it sought.

June 21st, 2017

Third-party funder and “biggest ever ATE policy” backs £4bn truck collective action

Motorway traffic jam

Third-party litigation funder Therium Capital Management is backing a £4bn opt-in collection action being brought by the Road Haulage Association against truck manufacturers found guilty of illegal price fixing. It has also secured “the largest tranche of after-the-event insurance that’s ever been underwritten”.

June 16th, 2017

Burford pockets £52m as it lays off more risk of major investment

Tim Dutton QC

Top third-party funder Burford Capital has continued to lay off the risk of a massive investment, with its latest deal meaning that it has now sold off 25% of its entitlement to the proceeds of the case. Meanwhile, the AIM-listed company has named Tim Dutton QC as head of its UK investment committee.

June 13th, 2017

Former justice minister calls for regulation of third-party funding

Lord Faulks

Third-party litigation funding is “in danger of undermining the integrity of our much-admired legal system” and it is time for statutory regulation, the former justice minister Lord Faulks QC has claimed. The state of the market means there are “real risks of abuse and disproportionally large sums are flowing into the coffers of litigation funders”, he said.

June 8th, 2017

Funding update: third-party backing for credit card claims, DBA insurance launch and more

Mark Humphries

City law firm Humphries Kerstetter has secured third-party funding to launch of a new wave of claims against MasterCard and Visa on behalf of a host of companies. The move follows the firm’s recent negotiation of a series of settlements with the card schemes on behalf of Tesco and WH Smith.

June 1st, 2017

Champerty holds firm in Ireland as Supreme Court rejects third-party funding

Chief Justice Susan Denham

The Irish Supreme Court has ruled that third-party litigation funding is champertous, citing statute dating back to 1634, and so banned Harbour Litigation Funding from backing a major commercial case. Chief Justice Susan Denham said changing the law was a matter for legislation, not the court.

May 30th, 2017

Appeal court upholds validity of CFA switch despite legal aid remaining in place

Jason Rowley

The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling that a conditional fee agreement (CFA) was valid even though the claimant’s legal aid certificate remained in place. “It is quite plain… that the CFA was designed and understood entirely to supersede for all purposes the public funding of the claim,” it found.

May 25th, 2017

Calunius: investors find German litigation market “attractive alternative to UK”

Mark Wells Calunius

The certainty provided Germany’s legal services market makes it a viable alternative to the UK as a location for big-ticket investors, according to Mark Wells, the managing partner of Calunius Capital. Meanwhile, AIM-listed Burford Capital has raised £175m through an oversubscribed issue of bonds.

May 22nd, 2017

Third-party funding “fuelling increase in litigation against top companies”

Bank

The number of major claims against the UK’s biggest companies continues to rise, with the growth of third-party litigation funders one of the reasons, it has been claimed. It comes amidst a flurry of activity around the world that is seeing litigation funding becoming more accepted.

May 18th, 2017

FTSE-250 merchant bank enters legal loans market as options for firms multiply

Lesley Graves photo

Specialist legal loans business Novitas has been bought by FTSE-250 merchant banking group Close Brothers in the latest development in the increasingly active legal lending market that has also seen the launch of products that provide off-balance sheet lending to firms for claims, and cash flow for firms that self-fund high-value and high-cost PI cases.

May 4th, 2017

Blog

Formal regulation – a price worth paying for third-party funders

Christopher Deadman 2

The comments by Lord Faulks QC last week that third-party litigation funding is “in danger of undermining the integrity of our much-admired legal system”, has been met with predictable howls of derision by those involved in the industry. The issue of statutory regulation or licensing has been on the agenda for a while but the creation of the Association of Litigation Funders, with its voluntary code of conduct has gone some way to persuading the Ministry of Justice (before the election, at least) that this is not necessary for the time being.

June 13th, 2017

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