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Australian Litigation Funder Expands to Texas as Industry Faces ‘Increased Scrutiny’ from Courts

Australia-based third party litigation funder Bentham IMF is expanding to Texas, and has hired Eric Chenoweth, a seasoned commercial and intellectual property litigator, to lead its Houston office.

“His move to Bentham comes as firms grow increasingly cautious in patent litigation with the creation of the PTAB and shifts in the law, driving them to explore outside sources of funding to hedge their risk”, reports Ben Hancock of the Texas Lawyer.

Hancock highlights the “increased scrutiny” third party litigation funders have been facing from the courts, noting the recent groundbreaking ruling in the Northern District of California last month which requires the disclosure of funding agreements in class actions.

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Australian Class Action Lawyers Face Criminal Investigation Over “Grossly Unethical Behaviour”

A group of class action lawyers in Australia “are facing a criminal investigation and a damages bill of more than $11.7 million for ‘dishonourable’ and ‘fraudulent’” conduct, reports the Australian Financial Times. The lawyers and litigation funder involved attempted “to claim more than $19 million in legal and funding fees from a group of elderly investors in the Banksia class action.”

Game Is Up For Litigation Funders

Last week, the Australian Financial Review featured an op-ed written by Stuart Clark, an adjunct professor at Macquarie Law School and former president of the Law Council of Australia, that highlights the need for reforming Australia’s litigation funding industry.

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