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Major Australian Litigation Funder to Return to Europe

As the European Parliament deliberates on a bill that would bring U.S.-style class actions to the European Union, one of the world’s largest litigation funders announced that it will return to the continent for the first time in two years.

According to Commercial Dispute Resolution News, IMF Bentham’s new fund with draw on $300 million investment capital to invest across Europe and the United Kingdom. The move comes as the European Parliament is working on a piece of legislation on collective redress that can potentially expand the litigation industry on the continent. The Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) advanced the bill yesterday.

U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa A. Rickard said the EU legislation as written may potentially “import the abuses of the U.S. class action system, which primarily benefits lawyers and profit-seeking third-party investors in lawsuits.”

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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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