July 12, 2021

Mel Buffier has joined Omni Bridgeway as Head of Investor Relations, based in Sydney. Mel has held a number of senior investor relations roles at top 50 ASX-listed companies, including some of Australia’s largest property companies, most recently at Stockland Group and prior to that at Scentre Group, Westfield Retail Trust and Mirvac Group.
Apex Litigation Finance has begun marketing its second fund, less than two years since launching the company and its first investor fund. The firm is seeking to raise £50 million to continue its focus on investing in small to mid-size claims. Investors wishing to explore the opportunity available are encouraged to contact Apex.
Andrew Saker of Omni Bridgeway weighs in on the potential Australian class action reforms, presenting research from top tier law firms and academia that debunks the claims used liberally by sections of corporate Australia and their US big business allies that there is an ‘explosion’ in shareholder class actions backed by unscrupulous litigation funders.
In a decision that has significant implications for the Australian litigation funding industry, Piper Alderman partners Greg Whyte and Lillian Rizio have successfully defended a challenge to the validity of LCM’s funding arrangements in the Gladstone Fisheries class action. The High Court refused to hear Gladstone Ports Corporation’s appeal, preserving the Court of Appeal’s finding that the funding agreement could not be challenged on public policy grounds.
Class actions are typically launched against big financial institutions such as insurance companies, but Australian law firm Mills Oakley is reporting that it has launched the first court approved class action commenced by insurers, with a group of insurers coming to a cost sharing arrangement between themselves and Mills Oakley to pursue a claim against a sea vessel owner and operator, with no involvement of a litigation funder.
The UK's push to promote London as the go-to centre for resolving commercial disputes means that grudges of foreign oligarchs, dictators and their hangers-on are now routinely fought in British courts, with Michael Redman of Burford Capital noting that the courts have potentially exposed themselves to reputational damage when the UK system becomes a tool in a wider battle of foreign litigants.

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