An amendment filed to the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill last week will allow the use of damages-based agreements (DBAs) for opt-out collective proceedings heard in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, but only for litigation funders. The proposed amendment responds to the Supreme Court’s decision in PACCAR in July this year, which ruled that litigation funding agreements that allowed funders to recover a percentage of damages were prohibited.
The judgment left funders racing to renegotiate existing agreements in order to be able to enforce them, despite remaining adamant that they were optimistic about the industry as a whole. If this amendment is successful, renegotiation will be unnecessary, as litigation funding agreements (LFAs) based on percentages will remain viable. Continue reading “Government to address PACCAR ruling with amendment to Digital Markets Bill – but litigation funders argue it isn’t enough”
Osborne Clarke has announced the launch of its third US office in Miami, adding to its existing offerings in San Francisco and New York. According to the firm, the opening of its Miami practice is the latest phase in its US and international arbitration strategies.
OC has appointed the former managing partner of Bird & Bird Spain and IT, data law and international dispute resolution specialist, Javier Fernández-Samaniego, from his own firm Samaniego Law as its managing partner and sole practitioner. He is well acquainted with the Florida, Latin America, and Spanish legal markets, having run Samaniego Law offices in both Madrid and Miami over the past seven years. Continue reading “Osborne Clarke launches international arbitration offering in Miami”
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has announced the launch of a new office in Beijing, its second in mainland China following its 2016 opening in Shanghai.
The new branch will be headed by Xiao Liu, head of Quinn’s China practice. Haiyan Tang will remain as head of the Shanghai office, and will also move into a co-leading role in the China practice alongside Liu. The firm will continue to focus on investigations, litigation, and arbitration, for both China-based clients and multinational clients doing business in China. Continue reading “‘A somewhat unique position’: Quinn Emanuel opens second mainland China office in Beijing”
‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid? When I’m making big decisions, there’s always fear attached. I try to put the fear aside and say: “What would I do if not afraid?” Last year when Natasha Harrison still ran Boies Schiller Flexner’s (BSF) London office, she revealed her mantra in conversation with Legal Business. When news broke in January that she and the majority of her disputes team were leaving BSF to start a new litigation-only firm, Pallas Partners, such thinking must have been at the front of her mind. Continue reading “Boies Don’t Cry”
Undaunted by a hectic few days in which details of Natasha Harrison’s new firm Pallas Partners hit the headlines, the former Boies Schiller leader and litigator has discussed her agenda with Legal Business.
The influential Harrison (pictured) is taking well-regarded partners Tracey Dovaston, Fiona Huntriss, Will Hooker, Neil Pigott and Matt Getz with her to staff the new firm. Continue reading “‘A big deal’: Harrison sets out strategy for building a thoroughly modern law firm”
With echoes of David Higgins’ landmark $10m switch in 2017 , Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has lost two up-and-coming private equity rising stars to US rival Kirkland & Ellis.
Freshfields lifer Vincent Bergin, who was made partner last year, arrives at Kirkland with an impressive back catalogue of clients, including private equity shops EQT ) and CVC Capital Partners. The other hire is Keir MacLennan – promoted in 2019, MacLennan specialises in high-profile and complex mergers and acquisitions, carve-outs, take-privates and exits for both financial sponsors and corporates. Continue reading “Revolving doors: Kirkland picks up Freshfields private equity stars again as seven partners depart pre-IPO Mishcon”
Slaughter and May has made a rare City hire, the firm announced today (19 November), recruiting a partner into its disputes and investigations practice from in-house.
Gayathri Kamalanathan is currently head of group litigation and enforcement at Danske Bank in Copenhagen, having been at the bank for almost two years, but is now set to join Slaughters in April. Prior to joining Dankse Bank, Kamalanathan had an eight-year spell at Deutsche Bank where she served as managing director UK head of litigation and enforcement and spent nine years at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer where she was a senior associate. Continue reading “‘Leading-edge experience’ – Slaughter and May looks in-house to make rare City disputes partner hire”
The received wisdom is that a downward trajectory in the economy results in an upward trajectory in contentious work as the environment becomes more acrimonious, and by extension more litigious. Of course, this is a simplistic take, but it does describe something that is approximately true.
But no downturn completely resembles the one before it. Though an overused description generally, even a cursory glance at the state of the economy shows the chaos wrought by the Covid-19 lockdown is truly unprecedented – the 20.4% contraction in in the economy during the second quarter of 2020 was the largest since records began. Continue reading “Comment: Litigators prepare as market enters phoney war but battle lines are yet to be drawn “
Cash-rich funders; conflict-free boutiques; class actions aplenty. While some predict another economic downturn on the horizon, providing an uptick in conventional litigation work, these themes have defined the more eye-catching disputes of the past year. Add to the mix an increase in cyber-related litigation and accusations of fraud and regulatory missteps against some of the leading firms’ key institutional clients, and a kinetic disputes scene emerges.
Many of these developments are US imports, particularly class actions and a more aggressive approach to accusations of fraud. These US-style claims are often being pursued by disputes boutiques increasingly allying themselves with external funders. As a result, the stranglehold City bluebloods have over big-ticket litigation has loosened, while some feel only two or three of the smaller players are of sufficient quality to cause real disruption (see our boutiques report). Continue reading “Perfect storms – Cases of the year”
Cumulative cuts to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) budget over the past decade, amounting to 40% in total, have had a profound impact on the UK’s publicly funded legal system. One corollary is that there are too few senior judges. First and foremost, this is because insufficient candidates of quality have applied to become a High Court judge.
‘There seems to be a continued problem with recruitment, not in terms of quality, but in terms of numbers,’ says former chair of the Bar, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC. Recognised as a perennial problem by the government, a streamlined application process was introduced last year. But this has done little to help. Vacancies remain across all three divisions: Queen’s Bench (QBD), Family and Chancery. Continue reading “‘Serious loss of morale’: The recruitment crisis at the bench deepens”