Claire Flores

Greg Williams, Blair McEwan, James Walker and Annie Achie of Clayton Utz summarise the Full Federal Court's decision in LCM Funding Pty Ltd v Stanwell Corporation Limited and predict that it will restore Australia's status as a highly attractive market for investment in class actions due to the low barriers for commencement of a claim and minimal regulatory burden on funders (in particular, overseas-based funders).
Tets Ishikawa of LionFish Litigation Finance weighs in on the litigation funding disclosure debate, suggesting that with courts and tribunals increasingly showing they are not being swayed by the potential abuse of the disclosure process by defendants, perhaps it is an opportunity for the litigation funding industry to be proactive and initiate a standard disclosure template for courts and tribunals globally to address this battleground once and for all.
Car giant Toyota is appealing an Australian class action ruling that could see more than 260,000 consumers receive damages totalling an eye-watering $2 billion. The Federal Court ruled against Toyota in a landmark judgment in April. Toyota will be challenging the "factual and legal basis for the award of damages. Commenced in 2019 with the backing of Balance Legal Capital, the class action centres on faulty diesel particulate filters used in the affected vehicles.
Costs lawyers should be more widely retained to stop firms from inflating their costs when they are working on a contingency basis, according to a new report by the Costs Lawyer Standards Board. One litigation funder told researchers that costs never came in on budget and were often overestimated. A specialist professional negligence insurer said they were ’desperate for claims to be presented honestly, based on evidence’. The message from both was that, in their view, solicitors’ firms were often presenting wildly inflated claims based on their interests in a CFA and this was not always acting in the best interests of the client.’
An Australian investment firm called Remi Capital that collapsed owing $124 million may have been insolvent since its launch in 2018 and had no income generating assets, according to a report to creditors, despite promising “mum and dad” investors big returns. Administrators from Jirsch Sutherland are considering an insolvent trading claim and have been in communications with ASIC regarding funding for investigations. They are also considering litigation funding.
UK-based litigation funders have amassed record war chests to finance the growing interest in class action law suits, according to a new study by RPC. Litigation funders' assets jumped 11% last year to hit £2.2bn, almost double the £1.3bn that had been built up in 2017/18 and a more than ten-fold increase over the past decade. RPC's analysis is based on regulatory data submitted by 15 of the largest UK litigation funders. Raymond van Hulst, EMEA executive director of Omni Bridgeway notes, however, that while low interest rates and excess liquidity had previously driven growth, a combination of rising inflation and higher interest rates means only the most successful funds will likely be attractive going forward and funders with low success rates will struggle.
Andrew Cohen of Burford Capital reviews the first decision from the New York Appellate Division that directly addresses the discoverability of legal finance materials, noting that the ruling in Worldview Entertainment Holdings Inc. v. Woodrow affirms the denial of a motion to compel production of, inter alia, litigation funding documents, as the defendant failed to explain "how discovery about litigation financing and witness payments would support or undermine any particular claim or defense."

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