Google fails to get claimant’s ATE premium disclosed

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Firm urges Court of Appeal to ‘develop’ common law on champerty

London-based commercial law firm Candey has urged the Court of Appeal to ‘remove the medieval shackles of champerty from legitimate solicitor-client agreements’ and validate the assignment of a now-deceased client’s claim to his solicitors. Candey is asking the court to ‘develop’ the common law so that assignments to solicitors are permitted where it would not ‘enlarge the benefit they would otherwise have received’. The commercial firm argues the introduction of damages-based agreements (DBAs) and the growth of litigation funding means that ‘lawyers are now as much commercial parties in litigation as they are officers of the court.’

Insights

Litigation funding and marginal gains

Tets Ishikawa of Lionfish comments on the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s rulings in two recent judgments (Kent v Apple and Coll v Google) that disclosing ATE premiums would give the defendants an ‘unfair tactical advantage’ and argues that if defendants want to go for marginal gains on funding and insurance agreements, they should equally be willing to give disclosure and transparency around the financial strategy for their case defence, including the costs provisioned for defending the claim and the amounts provisioned for any potential loss on their account. 

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Litigation funder went under owing £43m to its backer, administrator reveals

Affiniti Finance, a UK-based litigation funder backing thousands of cases, folded last year when it defaulted on its obligations to its main finance provider Fortress Capital. A recent administrator’s report shows that the company was dependent on Fortress to enable it to advance loans to consumer litigants. But the relationship broke down shortly before administrators were appointed last November and Fortress issued an acceleration notice to Affiniti demanding repayment of the entire £42.9m outstanding.

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