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Craig Arnott comments on ALRC inquiry for Lawyers Weekly

In a conversation with Lawyers Weekly about class actions in Australia—and the Australian Law Reform Commission’s inquiry into them—Burford’s Craig Arnott notes that a small number of bad actors generate undue criticism for the litigation finance industry there: “Some [funders] have no backing at all almost, and they’re just looking for any old thing to run up to court and tell some investors that they’ve got an investment… it gives a very bad name to the industry”. Mr. Arnott points out that the most of these bad actors have since gone out of business, and if they haven’t, they likely will soon. He mentions that Burford—because of these bad actors—is generally reluctant to fund any class actions, unless the case has been properly vetted and makes sense for all parties. Mr. Arnott also notes that Burford welcomes many of the ALRC’s recommendations, but urges that any regulations be “light touch”:

“[Burford supports] a lot of the thrust of the ALRC’s recommendations because the market will need a bit of a reconfiguration… one of our points to the inquiry as well is that it’s generally better to let the market take its course with these things. Normally, the market will sort itself out, which is why we say to the commission ‘if you're going to make any recommendations they should be as light-touch as possible’.”

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