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FRT’s Fast Five: Week Ending December 18, 2020

Financial Recovery Technologies Fast Five provides you with the top news in shareholder class actions. Stay up-to-date on the latest developments in settled (U.S./Canada) claims filing opportunities, Antitrust settlements, Global Group Litigation matters and more. For more information, contact your Financial Recovery Technologies representative or email us.

1. Mastercard Faces £14 Billion Lawsuit After Landmark UK Supreme Court Ruling

Mastercard faces the prospect of a £14 billion High Court lawsuit brought on behalf of 46 million consumers, after a landmark ruling that allows Britain’s biggest ever class action case to proceed. The highly anticipated Supreme Court judgment, which was published on Friday, allows former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks to bring the case on behalf of millions of UK citizens. Mr Merricks claims Mastercard’s “interchange” fees, which are charged to retailers for card use and then often passed on to consumers in higher prices, broke EU competition law. Mr Merricks’ case is the first mass claim to be launched under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which compensates consumers for unlawful anti-competitive behaviour. Lawyers said it is likely to encourage other large-scale litigation against big business. Click here to read the full article (subscription may be required).

2. Global Litigation Financiers Plan India Entry to Target Company Disputes

Some of the world’s top litigation financiers, such as Australia’s Omni Bridgeway, plan to tap the Indian market by funding the legal costs of disputes that embroil companies, executives told Reuters. The concept of litigation finance is widely prevalent in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, where such financiers pay legal fees and other costs of commercial lawsuits, arbitration or shareholder disputes and in return get a share of the award from a settlement or a win. So far in India, however, it has been a little-known concept, with cases few and far between. Omni Bridgeway, the world’s second-largest litigation financier with more than $1.5 billion in funds under management, and Abu Dhabi-based Phoenix Advisors said they plan to set up India operations soon. Omni is already in talks with prospective clients. Click here to read the full article.

3. U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up Goldman Securities Class Action Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s appeal in a securities fraud case that could redefine the ability of shareholders to pursue class actions against public companies whose stock prices fall. Goldman is appealing an April decision from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan allowing a class action accusing the bank of hiding conflicts of interest when creating risky subprime securities before the 2008 financial crisis. A decision is likely before the end of the court’s current term in June. Click here to read the full article.

4. Litigation Financiers Face New Player Disruption Risk in 2021

Litigation funders had a busy 2020 marked by record-setting amounts of capital entering the industry, success pushing back regulation attempts, and a giant payout that bolstered some balance sheets. The year kicked off with Chicago-based GLS Capital raising nearly $350 million. Parabellum Capital, Validity Finance, LexShares, and other funders then helped the industry raise more than $1 billion in 2020. For a year marked by a global pandemic and a recession in the U.S., the litigation funding industry proved fairly resilient. Newly flush from their investments, those financiers will be busy putting cash to work in 2021. But they will likely compete with new participants that may “disrupt” the traditionally lawyer-led industry, said Charles Agee, leader of litigation finance brokerage Westfleet Advisors. “A new type of player may be coming into the space that is more heavily weighted toward financial acumen,” Agee said. “If that actually happens and becomes a real thing, it will be disruptive to the market.” Click here to read the full article.

5. ‘Cowboy Outfit’: Crown Hit With New Class Action Over Money Laundering

Crown Resorts faces a new shareholder class action alleging investors were misled and harmed by the casino giant’s dysfunctional governance which led to possible breaches of anti-money laundering laws. Law firm Maurice Blackburn lodged a claim in the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday accusing Crown of engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct from December 2014 through to October this year by telling investors it had “robust” or effective controls in place to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) laws. The firm also alleges Crown acted contrary to its shareholders’ interests and – in a novel legal approach – will ask the court to consider ordering Crown to buy back shares from affected investors. Click here to read the full article.

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Founded in 2008, Financial Recovery Technologies (FRT) is the leading technology-based services firm that helps the investment community identify eligibility, file claims and collect funds made available in securities and other class action settlements. Offering the most comprehensive range of claim filing and monitoring services available, we provide best-in-class eligibility analysis, disbursement auditing and client reporting, and deliver the highest level of accuracy, accountability, and transparency available. For more information, go to www.frtservices.com.

This communication and the content found by following any link herein are being provided to you by Financial Recovery Technologies (FRT) for informational purposes only and do not constitute advice. All material presented herein is believed to be reliable but FRT makes no representation or warranty with respect to this communication or such content and expressly disclaims any implied warranty under law. Opinions expressed in this communication may change without prior notice. Firms should always seek legal and financial advice specific to their unique situation and objectives.

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