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Litica, the UK-based provider of commercial ATE insurance, is expanding to Australia. Leading the Australian operations will be Managing Director Philip Lomax, a former investment manager at LCM and Augusta Ventures. Founded in 2019, Litica has quickly established itself as one of the UK's leading providers of commercial ATE insurance through its panel of A rated insurers and will aim to replicate this success in Australia by having an Australian physical presence and locally authorised insurance backing.
Shakespeare Martineau is the latest UK law firm to create its own litigation funding solution for clients. Through its new 'FeeManage' service, clients will be able to access funding and alternative means of financing quickly and easily via conditional fee agreements, ATE insurance, third party funding or damages based agreements. The firm will not be partnering exclusively with any funders but will leverage its network of both large and boutique funders and insurers, as well as brokers, to obtain competitive rates and deals. 
Sylvie Gallage-Alwis and Gaëtan de Robillard of Signature Litigation report that both the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights are currently grappling with a number of significant climate litigation cases and argue that we should not be surprised if at least some of these cases succeed in creating powerful precedents moving forward.
LCM is backing a new representative action in the UK being brought by Mishcon de Reya on behalf of up to 1.6 million individuals against Google and DeepMind Technologies for the unlawful use of patients' confidential medical records. The claim arises out of an arrangement formed in 2015 between Google and DeepMind and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. The tech companies obtained and used a substantial number of confidential and private medical records without patients' knowledge or consent.
Burford Capital is backing a claim seeking compensation for millions of electricity customers in Great Britain. Scott+Scott UK LLP is applying to the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal for approval to bring a collective action against various European power cable companies who allegedly overcharged electricity network operators for power cables, resulting in higher consumer electricity bills. Daniel Jowell QC of Brick Court Chambers has been appointed as counsel. Richard Druce of NERA Economic Consulting and industry expert Peter Bennell of Sohn Associates have been engaged to provide expert reports. Case Pilots has been appointed as claims administrator.
Deminor has announced the appointment of Veronique Chatel as the company’s Global Head of Human Resources. Veronique was previously Head of HR Transformation at TotalEnergies Trading, one of the leaders in the Energy Trading market. At Deminor, Veronique will take the lead in all aspects of the company’s People function especially Talent Acquisition and Management, with a focus on helping Deminor continue to establish itself as one of the globe’s leading litigation funding providers.
CAC Specialty is excited to welcome Megan Easley to its Contingent Risk Solutions Team as a Vice President. Megan joins CAC Specialty from Omni Bridgeway, one of the largest litigation funding groups in the world. CAC Specialty is a leading broker for litigation risk insurance policies in the United States, with $2 billion in insurance limits placed last year. Megan earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Georgetown University and her J.D. from Cornell Law School and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
The International Legal Finance Association (ILFA) has announced its new board of directors, its chairman, and the executive committee. Gary Barnett, Executive Director of ILFA, welcomed Neil Purslow, who co-founded Therium, as the new Chairman. The Executive Committee Officers include: Christopher DeLise of Delta Capital, Susan Dunn of Harbour Litigation Funding, Jack Neumark of Fortress Investment Group LLC, Andrew Saker of Omni Bridgeway and Marcel Wegmüller of Nivalion.
John MacKenzie of Shepherd and Wedderburn notes that funder-backed ESG litigation to date has been focused on companies which have failed to live up to ESG promises and points to  “green washing” as another category of claim that could soon be on the rise in What are the consequences when an organisation gets ESG wrong?
Susan Dunn of Harbour Litigation reports that her firm is starting to insist on law firms using technology for class actions that require funding, stating that they won’t accept people saying, ‘we’ve got a bunch of paralegals with Excel spreadsheets doing this on phone at the cost of £100 a head.”
Andrew Flake of The Flake Law Firm, LLC comments on the news that the Chief Judge of Delaware’s federal District Court now requires all parties in cases before him to disclose at least the existence of any third-party funding, along with the identity of the funder and shares the rationale for why he favours a case-by-case decision on disclosure as opposed to a blanket requirement or rule.
John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel tells Christopher Bogart of Burford Capital that he doesn't foresee U.S. law firms firms transforming into more conventional businesses any time soon, noting that while ownership and sharing of equity in law firms is is coming, like everything else in the legal profession, it’s going to take a long time.
Counsel for the official committee of unsecured creditors of Sears Holdings is seeking court approval of a US $35 litigation funding facility with Bench Walk Advisors. Sears Holdings, the parent company of the iconic Sears retail brand, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2018. While under creditor protection, litigation was commenced by a restructuring subcommittee seeking over $2 billion in damages arising from certain pre-filing related party transactions. $25 million was set aside to cover the initial costs of the litigation, but these funds are now near exhaustion. In order to continue in the pursuit of the claims, a competitive process was initiated to secure additional funding. After several rounds of hard-fought and arm’s-length negotiations with Bench Walk and another funder, Bench Walk emerged as the winner.

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