WEBINAR: Funding Access to Justice and Class Actions

November 10, 2021

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Group litigation and class actions provide individuals a unique opportunity to coalesce claimants in order to bring claims against multinational corporations or public authorities. Often associated with the USA, they are less established in this jurisdiction, and less explored. But that is changing, with a clear increase in the number of class actions and group litigation filed in the UK across a variety of sectors. Group litigation asks important and interesting questions about access to justice and accountability, fees and funding, and rules and regulation. These questions include: is this form of justice appropriate for this jurisdiction; is it an effective way of holding authority to account; and, practically, is it here to stay (in which case, what should we do about it)?

On 9 September 2021 “US-style” Mastercard case looms (£) appeared in the Times, exploring the rise of opt-out consumer class actions in this jurisdiction and the wider context of American-style group claims being brought in the UK courts.  On 10 November, Paul Hodkinson, Editor-in-Chief, Law.com International, chairs a panel discussing that context in relation to access to justice, featuring:

  • Gus Sellitto, Managing Director, Byfield Consultancy
  • Scevole de Cazotte, Senior Vice President, International Initiatives, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
  • William Marra, Investment Manager, Validity Finance
  • Kenny Henderson, Partner, Dispute Resolution, CMS
  • Ana Salomao, Legal Director, PGMBM


William C. Marra
Investment Manager

A former law clerk at the United States Supreme Court, Will has been recognized as a Global Leader in Litigation Finance by Lawdragon. He is a frequent writer and speaker on litigation finance, and his article The Shadows of Litigation Finance was published by the Vanderbilt Law Review in April 2021.

Will is responsible for sourcing investment opportunities from the country’s leading lawyers and claimholders, and he is also actively engaged in Validity’s due diligence and investment underwriting process. He offers Validity’s clients his expertise as a former commercial and constitutional litigator at Cooper & Kirk, PLLC, as well as his experience working at Bain & Company, the business consulting firm.

Will graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. In addition to clerking for Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Will also clerked for Chief Judge William H. Pryor, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. During college, he served as President of The Harvard Crimson, the University’s daily newspaper.

Along with spending time with his wife and son, Will is a board member of the United States Soccer Foundation’s Young Professionals Council, and he volunteers as a mentor with Bottom Line.

Ana Carolina Salomão Queiroz
Director of the Litigation Finance practice

Ana holds an LL.M. by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), with her main studies at the fields of financial law and a Masters Degree in Economic Law by the University of São Paulo (USP), the same institution where she graduated. She is also a member of the Latin American Institute for Collective Justice – ILAJUC.

Ana Carolina is an experienced financial lawyer that has been working in financial markets as in-house counsel as well, as an associate to law firms, for over 13 years. She started her career focusing on taxation of financial products and corporate transactions before broadening her professional performance to act as a transactional lawyer in derivatives transactions, private and public equity deals, and, most recently, third-party financing of judicial claims.

Within PGMBM, she manages the interaction between the firm and its funders, acting as an in-house transactional lawyer and as investors relations.

Devoted to philanthropy, she founded the DreamS Foundation and seats at the board of Associação Projeto Gauss endowment fund, which offers scholarships and mentoring for disadvantaged Brazilian students who believe in education as transformational tool.

Kenny Henderson
CMS London

Kenny Henderson is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution Team. He is an experienced litigator who represents sophisticated and blue-chip clients in high stakes disputes, frequently with a multi-jurisdictional element. He is solutions-oriented and deploys litigation strategies tailored to deliver commercial objectives. He has particular expertise in regulated sectors, including pharmaceutical and technology claims.

Kenny is active in the developing area of class and group actions, counselling clients both in defending claims and also on strategies for reducing overall exposure in opt-out and opt-in collective proceedings. He has also acted on many of the highest profile follow-on claims issued in Europe to date. Unusually, he has led matters both on the claimant and the defendant side.

Gus Sellitto
Byfield Consultancy

Gus Sellitto is co-founder of Byfield Consultancy, the UK’s leading legal sector communications consultancy. Gus specialises in managing the PR and communications aspects of high profile disputes and has significant experience in class actions and group actions. This includes orchestrating the PR activities around the launch of the first shareholder group action in Europe against VW in dieselgate scandal, the first shareholder action against a major retailer for alleged accounting regularities, and a group action in the Forex market manipulation case. Gus acts for claimants and defendants and works closely with legal teams to ensure that PR effectively supports litigation strategies.

Paul Hodkinson
Editor-In-Chief of Law
Law.com International

Paul Hodkinson is the Editor-In-Chief of Law.com International. Before joining the company in late 2018, he was the Deputy Editor and Comment Editor of Financial News, part of Dow Jones. He has also held roles as Acting Editor of Financial News and Editor of Private Equity News and has written for The Wall Street Journal as well as numerous private equity publications in the U.S. It is his second stint at Legal Week, after he worked at the publication between 2002 and 2008

Scevole de Cazotte
Senior Vice President, International Initiatives
U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

Scévole de Cazotte is senior vice president of international initiatives at the U.S.Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). His responsibilities include the strategic development and management of ILR’s advocacy efforts to address litigation and liability issues in Europe, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific region. De Cazotte runs ILR’s Coalition to Curb Global Forum Shopping, which fights the export of U.S. litigation-style features—particularly class actions—to other countries, as well as the import of foreign-based claims to the U.S. through the Alien Tort Statute and other legal avenues. In addition, he leads ILR’s global initiative to stem the growth of the third party litigation financing industry.

Before joining ILR, de Cazotte was senior policy director in the U.S. Chamber’s International Division. There he defined and implemented trade and regulatory policies for Europe, the European Union (EU), and transatlantic business relations. His portfolio included Europe, Turkey, and the former Soviet Union republics. De Cazotte also worked on global matters, including the G8, intellectual property rights, and World Trade Organization-related matters.

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