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Pretium, a New York-based specialized investment management firm with more than $26 billion in assets, has established a legal opportunities investment team. The strategy will be led by Matthew Cantor, a Senior Managing Director who joined Pretium in May 2020 and has more than two decades of experience of creating value for investors in complex legal situations. This experience includes his tenure leading the highly successful resolution of the Lehman Brothers estate and time spent as both an investor and as a practicing attorney at leading global law firms. Also joining Pretium as a Senior Managing Director is Charles (Chad) Schmerler, who will serve as the head of Litigation Finance. Prior to joining Pretium, he was the CEO of Yorkside Capital, a litigation finance firm he founded following his tenure as a litigation partner at Norton Rose Fulbright. 
The Supreme Court of Victoria last week refused to allow class action contingency fees in the first decision under the new regime. Victoria is the only Australian jurisdiction so far to allow court approved contingency fees in class actions and allows plaintiff law firms to compete directly with third party funders. In refusing the group cost order, the court noted that the 25% contingency fee was not more favourable than the arrangement the plaintiffs already had in place.
More than 1,000 Halifax investors may recover tens of millions of dollars more of their funds caught up in the collapse of the stock-broking platform thanks to Omni Bridgeway, who has agreed to fund appeals over recent Australian and NZ court judgments regarding Halifax Investment Services Pty Ltd and Halifax New Zealand Limited, both of which are in liquidation.
Lawyers chasing personal injury firms over the deductions from former clients’ damages have been handed a huge boost after a UK costs judge rejected an application by the law firm Slater & Gordon to have claims from its former clients stayed. The cases centre around the so-called 'secret' profits received by the firm as commissions from ATE insurance premiums. There are likely to be hundreds of other similar cases pending this decision against other PI firms.
The temperature of the debate around class actions and litigation funding is heating up in New Zealand. The country’s biggest litigation funder LPF has sent a letter to the Law Commission in which it voiced its dismay over the "volume and shrillness in much of the recent negative commentary." LPF also provided the Commission with statistics showing that of the 29 funded cases that have been settled in the last ten years, litigation funders' profit has amounted to only 6% of the amount awarded or paid in settlement.
Lake Whillans and Above The Law have released the results of their fifth annual litigation finance survey which shows that, among other things, firms with 500+ attorneys have the smallest proportion of firsthand experience with litigation finance, and across the board respondents practicing in the telecommunications and technology industries reported the most firsthand experience.
Emilie Jones and Johanna Weißbach of Pinsent Masons summarize the draft report that the European Parliament is currently considering as it grapples with the question of whether to regulate third party litigation funding, noting that the objectives of the report in many respects reflect principles by which major litigation funders in the UK already operate.
Alison Kirby of Manolete Partners shares that her firm has been reviewing many potential claims relating to the improper use of the UK government's Bounce Back Loans and explains the types of claims that can be brought against companies and directors in relation to them.
IVO Capital is backing a €6 billion claim against Chinese social media platform TikTok filed by Stichting Massaschade & Consument, a Dutch non-profit organization that defends the rights of consumers in cases of mass damage. The claim is on behalf of 4.5 million Dutch users whose sensitive data was allegedly illegally harvested and auctioned off. With the lawsuit, the foundation wants to encourage TikTok to respect European privacy laws and provide clarity on the logic behind its algorithm.
Fieldfisher, through its FeeSolve litigation funding service, is backing a potential group action against HMRC in relation to up to £45 million of 'Follower Notice' penalties that HMRC may be liable to repay. A recent Supreme Court decision has cast doubt on the enforceability of certain penalties issued by HMRC in cases of perceived tax avoidance.
PGMBM and SPS Capital, a prominent Brazilian special situations fund with expertise in DIP financing and litigation funding, concluded a follow-on investment to partially further finance the case Municipality of Mariana & Ors v BHP plc & BHP Ltd. The claim against BHP was filed on behalf of the victims of the Fundão dam collapse that took place in November 2015 in Mariana, Brazil. The dam was owned by BHP’s Samarco joint venture and its collapse affected more than 200,000 people. In a landmark ruling, the English courts revived the claim that had been struck out last year, granting permission to appeal under exceptional appeals legislation.
ICP Funding Pty Ltd, an authorised representative of CASL, is supporting a class action against Insurance Australia Limited, trading as ‘CGU Insurance’ (CGU), on behalf of business owners with CGU business interruption insurance who have suffered losses to their business losses arising from the the COVID-19 pandemic. The class action will be run by Slater & Gordon Lawyers.
Attorneys in the fast-growing wildfire litigation industry are racing to recruit victims of fires ravaging parts of Northern California, and they're promising to take on a familiar target: PG&E. Some victims, however, are wary of certain attorneys who are backed by litigation funders who previously negotiated against their interests in the PG&E bankruptcy proceedings.

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