Providing legal redress for underserved claimants is driving force behind the new firm, founders say
Two of the industry’s leading legal financing figures have joined forces to form Australia’s newest litigation funding firm.
John Walker and Stuart Price have recently announced the establishment of CASL Management, where they will serve as executive chairman and chief executive officer, respectively.
In a statement, Walker said that their shared vision for “fulfilling a constructive role in achieving legal redress for claimants who otherwise would not be able to access justice” led to the establishment of the new firm.
“Drawing on our combined experience, knowledge, and hunger for success, we expect CASL to be a formidable force in the industry,” said Walker.
The firm’s launch comes as the litigation funding industry faces moves from the Federal government, insurers, and defendant firms to impose tighter constraints on the ability of Australians to litigate wrongdoing through class actions.
Price, who will also serve as the firm’s managing director, said the regulatory debate around litigation funding had ignored consumers, employees, and investors, who not only were “most likely to find themselves at the wrong end of corporate misconduct, but also had the fewest options for legal recourse.”
“A level playing field providing access to the legal system to prosecute legitimate claims is a cornerstone of society and Australia has been a global leader in implementing that principle,” he said.
Price said they plan to expand CASL’s footprint in Australia and overseas, starting in Asia, by attracting “like-minded litigation funding professionals.”
“The appetite for this asset class from investment capital, domestically and offshore, is strong and CASL is actively exploring options to expand its existing pool of capital,” he said. “We believe the values, experience and skills of CASL will resonate with potential future hires, as well as clients and referrer partners and clients in the legal, insurance and insolvency fields.”
Prior to the establishment of CASL, Price was most recently chief executive officer of Litigation Lending Services (LLS), which last year helped secure one of Australia’s largest class-action settlements on behalf of more than 12,000 indigenous people in the Stolen Wages action against the Queensland Government.
Meanwhile, Walker founded litigation funder IMF Bentham, now Omni Bridgeway, in 2001, and institution-focused Investor Claim Partner in 2016.