Apple’s bid to reveal ATE premiums refused by tribunal

Technology giant Apple has lost a bid to reveal a proposed representative claimant’s after-the-event insurance premiums, with the Competition Appeal Tribunal ruling that disclosure would provide an ‘unfair tactical advantage’ by revealing the insurers’ assessment of risk. The class action is seeking estimated damages of up to £1.5 billion. A hearing to decide whether to grant a CPO in the proposed claim brought by Dr Rachael Kent – who is represented by international disputes firm Hausfeld and backed by litigation funder Vannin Capital – is due to take place in May.

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New Fundings

Vannin backs Australian class actions over app store commissions

Vannin Capital is backing two new class actions commenced in the Federal Court of Australia against Apple and Google. The claims, filed by Phi Finney McDonald on behalf of the lead applicants, allege that the tech giants engaged in anti-competitive conduct in relation to the operation of their app stores. By routinely charging a 30% commission to app developers and limiting their ability to distribute apps outside of the app stores, it is alleged that Apple and Google limited competition in the market which resulted in higher prices for consumers.

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Axiom fund set up to fill legal aid ‘black hole’, court hears

A solicitor accused of dishonestly funnelling nearly £20m of investors’ money from a legal financing fund into his own pocket has told jurors the fund was set up to fill ‘the big black hole in the market’ after access to legal aid was reduced. Timothy Schools is said to have received ‘just over £19.5m’ from the Cayman Islands-registered Axiom Legal Financing Fund before it collapsed in 2012. He allegedly used some of the money to pay for an estate in Cumbria, a personal trainer and football season tickets.

In the News

Exclusive: Solicitors probed over client loans to fund divorce cases

Solicitors are coming under the spotlight amid growing concern about how vulnerable clients were sold loans to fund family litigation. More than a dozen people have claimed to the Gazette they felt compelled to take out the loans with Novitas, now a subsidiary of merchant banking group Close Brothers, to fund proceedings in the last 10 years. They borrowed from £20,000 to £350,000 at an annual interest rate set between 18% and 30%. Both financial and legal regulators are understood to be investigating allegations – so far unfounded – of misconduct.

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