Burford sells £9m investment for £77m as it grows secondary litigation funding market

Chris Bogart colour

Leading litigation funder Burford Capital has sold a £9.3m investment in a successful arbitration for £77m while a bid to annul the award is ongoing. It said the sale would lock in its gain on the investment and accelerate cash recovery to enable reinvestment of the capital.

March 13th, 2018

Rule committee declines to consider contempt question over solicitors who act on fraudulent claims

Mr Justice Warby

The Civil Procedure Rule Committee has rejected a High Court judge’s suggestion that it consider whether solicitors who sign statements of truth on behalf of fraudulent clients could be held in contempt of court. Mr Justice Warby said the rules were not clear on whether this was possible.

March 13th, 2018

City firm foresees big future for predictive coding after client wins case

Oliver Glynn Jones

The City law firm that won the first contested application to use predictive coding as part of a substantial document review exercise has proclaimed the exercise a success and a precursor to its wider use after its client won.

March 12th, 2018

Trainees billing £282 an hour – US firm will not recover “eye-watering” costs in full

time is money

There is no chance of a leading US firm recovering anything like fees that range from £946 an hour for a partner to £282 for a trainee, when competent representation for half that amount is available, a Court of Appeal judge has ruled.

March 9th, 2018

Burford launches insurance company to cover costs in high-value claims

Chris Bogart colour

Burford Capital has announced that it is to launch its own insurance company to provide adverse costs cover in high-value commercial litigation and arbitration claims where it is also providing third-party funding. It is designed to meet a need for “significant levels of adverse costs cover for major cases in costs-shifting jurisdictions around the world”.

March 8th, 2018

Look who’s back – Clayden takes over as MIB boss

Dominic Clayden

Dominic Clayden – once the bête noire of claimant lawyers – is returning to a high-profile role within the personal injury world after he was named as the new chief executive of MIB (the Motor Insurers’ Bureau as was). He succeeds well-known figure Ashton West, who is retiring.

March 7th, 2018

Disclosure reforms could lead to “miscarriages of justice”, Law Society warns

Law Society - Front2

The Law Society has warned that radical disclosure reforms, due to be piloted in the Business and Property Courts this autumn, could lead to important documents not coming to light and “increase the risk of miscarriages of justice”.

March 7th, 2018

Jackson’s farewell: My reforms were worth the abuse but costs are still too high

Lord Justice Jackson

Many of the causes of excessive costs have been eliminated but litigation is still too expensive, Sir Rupert Jackson has claimed on the eve of his retirement from the Court of Appeal. In a speech that signalled the judge’s hurt and exasperation at the criticism that has come his way over the past decade, he nonetheless argued that it was “all worth it”.

March 6th, 2018

New disclosure regime “set to cause problems” for professional negligence claims

Helen Evans 4 New Square

Professional negligence claims will become harder to handle under the new approach to disclosure which will be piloted later this year in the Business & Property Courts, particularly for defendants, a barrister has warned. She identified front-loading of costs, imbalance between the parties, and disclosure of adverse documents as potential problems.

March 5th, 2018

High Court reassures nervous litigation funder that it will get its £56m payout


The High Court has reassured third-party funder Harbour Litigation Funding that it will receive a £56m recovery from a successful case it backed, after joining the action over concerns that it would not be paid. If an agreement to pay the money was not fulfilled, Mr Justice Picken said the funder could come back for a court order.

March 2nd, 2018

Government to lift costs threat to newspapers in libel cases

Matthew Hancock

The government is to repeal “at the earliest opportunity” unimplemented legislation that would have exempted publishers that were members of a recognised press self-regulator from paying the claimant’s legal costs when sued, even if they lost.

March 2nd, 2018

Supreme Court urges rule committee to clarify status of law firm LLP acting for itself

Supreme Court night

The rule committee should look at clarifying whether a law firm LLP which acts for itself in legal proceedings is a litigant in person for the purposes of the CPR, the Supreme Court has said. It came as the court refused permission to appeal in a ruling which held that a common law principle established in 1884 in favour of recovering profit costs held good.

March 1st, 2018

Briggs: Commercial courts may have to determine issues by declaration post Brexit

Lord Briggs of Westbourne, Justice. CREDIT - UK Supreme Court, Kevin Leighton

Commercial courts may have to use their new right to determine issues of market importance by declaration if Brexit leads to a boom in arbitration, Lord Briggs has warned. The Supreme Court justice made no attempt to hide concerns over the enforceability of judgments post Brexit.

February 28th, 2018

Court of Appeal overturns ruling denying claimant QOCS protection

Tyre swing

A judge was wrong to order an unsuccessful claimant to pay the costs of parties added to a pre-LASPO personal injury claim after the qualified one-way cost shifting rules came into force, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

February 27th, 2018

High Court rejects non-party litigation privilege claim

rcj 3

An attempt to claim litigation privilege by global mining and commodities giant Glencore, in a case where it was not the party to proceedings, has been rejected by the High Court. It said there was no authority for the proposition that “a person controlling litigation can assert litigation privilege against a party which it is controlling and who is the party to the proceedings”.

February 27th, 2018


Here today, gone tomorrow

Andy Talbot Arag

In 2016, it was AU Insurance Services. Last summer, it was Elite Insurance Company. Already in 2018, New Zealand’s CBL Insurance Limited has collapsed, leaving Alpha Insurance A/S in solvent liquidation and run-off. Often, it seems, these failures impacting the legal expenses sector get associated with the after-the-event insurance market, somehow remote from the majority of brokers. But most legal expenses underwriters, wherever they are based, will have feet in both after- and before-the-event camps. The precise causes and circumstances of these failures (and the several others that have occurred in between them) may be very different, but they have all left brokers, other intermediaries and their clients in the lurch.

March 15th, 2018

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John M Hayes

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