Business & Practice

Wake Up Call: Third-Party Brokers Work ‘Flooded’ Litigation Funding Market

Dec. 2, 2019, 12:48 PM
  • Litigation finance companies with billions of dollars to invest are combing through databases in a hunt for litigators with promising cases. Meanwhile, third-party litigation finance brokers are making cold calls to hook up claimaints with funders and vice versa, according to a report. (American Lawyer)

  • No one knows exactly how much money Big Law firms are getting from litigation funders. One brokerage’s recent estimate got a mixed reception. (BLB via BLAW)

  • Attorneys for President Trump said yesterday that they will not participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s first public impeachment hearing this week. (NYT)

  • Littler Mendelson and one of its Pittsburgh shareholders were hit by a Houston company’s negligence lawsuit contending they provided too much information to adversaries in a federal Fair Labor Standards Act case. (TexasLawyer.com)

  • Hogan Lovells senior associate Mitchell P. Reich is set to argue tomorrow at the U.S. Supreme Court in a case over a $4 million tax refund in a bankruptcy. (BLAW via BLB) Reich’s debut is unusual, as Supreme Court veterans tend to dominate oral arguments. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Brown Rudnick lawyers got the upper hand on two tech giants in Texas cases last week. In one, Apple Inc.'s Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe lawyers failed to convince an East Texas federal court to move a patent infringement dispute involving its Apple Wallet application to a court closer to its California headquarters. Brown Rudnick and the Truelove Law Firm represented Texas-based Quest NetTech Corp., which accuses Apple of infringing its patent for an electronic credit card system to store financial account and transaction data. (BLAW)

  • In the other case, Amazon.com Inc.'s lawyers couldn’t convince the same Eastern Texas federal judge to move its patent case to Northern California. Brown Rudnick, Truelove, and McKool Smith represent Vocalife, which contends that Amazon’s Echo speakers and other products with Alexa virtual assistant functionality infringe its patent related to circular microphone array. Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear and Haltom & Doan represent Amazon. (BLAW)

  • A new film called “Dark Waters,” inspired by a 2016 New York Times Magazine article, follows Big Law partner Rob Bilott’s years-long fight to hold DuPont Co. accountable for chemical contamination that a West Virginia farmer believed was killing his cattle. (Bloomberg Environment) (Parts Per Billion Podcast)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Former Trademark Trial and Appeal Board attorney Katie McKnight joined intellectual property firm Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner as of counsel in Washington. Plus more personnel news from IP law firms and IP-related organizations. (BLAW)

  • Orrick announced just before Thanksgiving that it would match the year-end associate bonus scale set by Milbank earlier this month. Orrick also set a threshold of 2,000 billable hours for associates to get a full bonus, and it announced additional “wellness” perks. (BLAW via BLB)

  • A Washington federal prosecutor and ex-Big Law attorney was arrested in a DWI stop in Manhattan—and she wasn’t the driver. (New York Post)

Laterals, Moves, In-house, Promotions

  • Hogan Lovells hired corporate litigation and investigations specialist Arthur Dethomas as a partner in Paris. He arrives, with two associates, from a local firm. (HoganLovells.com)

  • Shearman & Sterling said it elected six counsel and two associates to partner, in Houston, London, New York, Paris, São Paulo, Singapore, and Washington, effective January 1, 2020. The promoted attorneys include two women. (Shearman.com)

  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges promoted 16 lawyers, including nine women, to partner across seven of its offices worldwide, effective Jan. 1, 2020. The firm also promoted 115 lawyers to counsel. (Weil.com)

  • Eckert Seamans added intellectual property attorney Debora Plehn-Dujowich as a member in the firm’s Philadelphia office. She has a law degree from Temple University and doctorate in biology from Yale and was previously counsel at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr. (EckertSeamans.com)

Legal Actions, Bankruptcies, Decisions

  • U.S. authorities arrested an Ethereum Foundation cryptocurrency scientist and charged him with helping North Korea use blockchain technology “to evade sanctions and launder money.” Arrested on Thanksgiving, Virgil Griffith, 36, is represented by attorney Galia Amram, of Durie Tangri. (BN via BLAW)

  • Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr said it won a $1.46 million jury verdict for egg producer Rembrandt Enterprises, Inc., in its breach-of-contract suit against Rexing Quality Eggs after a two-day trial in Evansville, Indiana. (Saul.com)

  • Eddie Bauer LLC, advised by Steptoe & Johnson LLP and others, convinced a Washington federal court that a plaintiff’s suit alleging the company sends deceptive emails belongs in federal court. (BLAW)

  • Class counsel will take home $14 million of a $56 million settlement between All Nippon Airways Co. and consumers alleging the airline conspired with others to fix the prices of Transpacific flights, a California federal court ruled. (BLAW)


  • Baker McKenzie’s chief services officer David Cambria and his team of 40-plus legal project managers worldwide are constantly adding new services and constantly evaluating and “re-purposing” existing technology, he says in a recent interview. (Artificial Lawyer)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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