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Hausfeld to open Berlin office with €30m investment from litigation funder Burford

Third party litigation funder Burford Capital is investing €30m in US competition law boutique Hausfeld so it can open in Germany.

The Burford investment pot is the largest-known facility established to fund litigation in Germany, where Hausfeld states there is ‘significant and growing client demand for funding’, particularly in antitrust-related litigation.

Hausfeld’s new office will open by 1 January 2016 and will be located at Kurfürstendamm in Berlin, and the firm has secured an investment of at least €30m from litigation funder Burford to bankroll German claims.

The move follows significant action from the European Commission and Germany’s national competition regulator, namely the adoption of the European Directive on competition damages actions last year. Previously, companies bringing claims in Germany had limited access to the alternative fee and funding arrangements that can limit claimants’ ability to undertake high-stakes competition cases.

A statement this morning (28 October) added that Burford’s ‘commitment will ensure that these claims have the necessary resources’.

Hausfeld chair Michael Hausfeld said: ‘After increasing demand in Germany in recent years, we are delighted to expand our leading global competition litigation team and capacity to meet our clients’ needs in Germany at a key time in Europe as the enhanced rights for claimants under the EC damages directive becomes law next year. This is possible not only because of Burford’s committed capital but also its commitment to understanding the needs and opportunities of our firm and its clients.’

Anthony Maton, managing partner of Hausfeld in London, said: ‘We see this venture as a brilliant next step for our firm: it will enhance our ability to offer our clients, among the leading German corporations in the retail, transport and automotive sectors, the broadest menu of options in pursuing competition damage claims. This comes as we prepare strong additions on the ground in Germany in our core area of practice and build on our successful collaboration with Burford in London.”

Burford has recently tapped into the rebound in UK-based low-value claims, by launching a range of products to deal with cases ranging from £25,000 up to its traditional big-ticket litigation last year.

For more on third party funding, see Double-edged – cutting both ways with third party funding