Last Year – 26 – LPF Litigation funder co-founder and director Phil Newland continues his high rankings as key figure in the leading litigation funding group, which was boosted by the Law Commission report last year.
The controversy over litigation funding continues, heightened by the surprise withdrawal by litigation funding giant Harbour Litigation Funding from the action brought against James Hardie Group by Adina thorn, but it is clear litigation funding will become a staple on the New Zealand litigation menu.
Among recent actions funded by LPF has been the Canterbury Homeowners Class Action to provide Southern Response policyholders a choice in their battle for full compensation from Southern Response for their quake-damaged homes. The class action, spearheaded by Power List entrant Davey Salmon together with Meredith Connell, aims to ensure around 3,000 homeowners receive a greater proportion of any compensation paid by Southern Response.
The Supreme Court ruled that the representative action brought by the Canterbury policyholders against insurance company Southern Response could go ahead on an “opt-out” basis, meaning claimants would not necessarily need to agree in advance to be represented by the lawsuit, which provides greater flexibility for operators like LPF to proceed with class actions.
That means claimants would not necessarily need to agree in advance to be represented by the lawsuit in order to be covered by the judgment.
Forthcoming Law Commission recommendations on class action funding are also likely to further strengthen LPF and other litigation funders’ hands in terms of their role in such claims.