Clifford Chance and the Excalibur funding conundrum

The year is drawing to a close and with it comes the end of one of the year’s biggest cases.

Claim after claim was thrown out in the weighty 323-page judgment against Excalibur last week with Mr Justice Clarke issuing some stern words for Excalibur’s key witnesses.

The stinging review of Clifford Chance’s client saw one claimant witness branded “long on assertion and confidence, but short on analysis and understanding” and an expert slated as “markedly inferior to that of the experts called by the defendants”.

No doubt the company will be licking its wounds after that criticism but the battle isn’t over yet – the case looks set to set an important precedent over third-party funding.

The imminent cost ruling will test Lord Justice Jackson’s decision that funders will have to pay the full adverse costs if their claim loses.

Any increase from the £17.5m the funders have already put up as security for costs could prove tricky especially as one of the three funders to have backed this case has gone bust.

And what about Clifford Chance? $50m raised from all three funders doesn’t go very far to pay magic circle rates.

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