A group of lawyers who are taking on Lloyds Banking Group and Tesco in multi-million pound group actions have launched a new firm backed by a heavyweight litigation funder.
The new firm – Harcus Parker – is a breakaway from London firm Harcus Sinclair led by its head of litigation Damon Parker.
The firm has the backing of a major litigation funder, understood to be Therium Capital Management, allowing it to bankroll significant claims against banks and corporations.
It has been set up as an alternative business structure (ABS), meaning it can take on external funding and appoint non-lawyer owners.
Parker said: “We are doing a blend of commercial cases with a heavy bias towards financial services-type cases.”
The firm is acting for a group of shareholders in a case against Lloyds Banking Group, alleging breaches of fiduciary duty in relation to Lloyds TSB's acquisition of HBOS in 2009.
It is also acting for more than 8,000 current and former Tesco staff in multi-million pound equal pay claim, alleging the supermarket discriminated against its store workers – predominantly women – by paying them less than its warehouse workers – predominantly men.
“We want to be doing good cases for people who deserve it and who otherwise wouldn’t be able to have their cases heard,” Parker said.
Parker is joined at the firm by former Harcus Sinclair partners Jennifer Morrissey, Jon Beresford and Edward Parkes.
Litigation funders typically provide law firms or claimants with funds to pursue a case and then receive a slice of any winnings in return.
Therium has a close relationship with the lawyers at the new firm, backing previous major cases including the shareholder claim against Lloyds which is currently awaiting judgment.
The funder, which recently passed the $1bn (£770m) mark for money raised, is also supporting TV presenter Noel Edmonds in his £300m battle with Lloyds, which he blames for the collapse of his Unique Group business in 2007.
Last month London-listed litigation funder Litigation Capital Management said it had signed a co-operation agreement with law firm Clyde & Co to make "significant funding" available for the firm and its clients.
City law firm Rosenblatt, which floated last year in London, used £2m from its listing to set up its own in-house litigation fund – Rosenblatt Litigation Funding.