Head of Investments – APAC, LCM
Susanna is the Head of Investments (APAC) at Litigation Capital Management (LCM), a leading international litigation funder, providing dispute financing solutions. She helms a team of Investment Managers in Australia and Singapore, overseeing the sourcing, due diligence, and management of LCM’s investment activities across the APAC region.
Prior to joining LCM, Susanna was Special Counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright, practicing litigation in class actions, financial institutions disputes, contentious regulatory work (including work for the ACCC), and corporate disputes. She is recognised in Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Third Party Funding 2020 and is a regular presenter on issues relating to litigation funding and class actions. She is also the author of the Litigation Funding practice note for Practical Law Australia.
ExpertsDirect has had the pleasure of working with Susanna to provide experts for class action and dispute resolution matters. We were delighted to catch up with her and ask her a few questions about her experience in litigation funding and as a client of ExpertsDirect.
1. What sparked your interest in litigation funding?
I was in the disputes team at Norton Rose Fulbright and was involved on the defence side of the Bathurst Regional Council case (a post GFC class action brought on behalf of local councils). The plaintiffs were represented by Amanda Banton at Piper Alderman and funded by what was then IMF (now Omni Bridgeway). From the defence side, I saw how litigation funding operated in a class action to enable expensive litigation to be brought against well resourced defendants, I thought, “That is something I would like to do” so I jumped ship.
2. What do you enjoy most about your role at LCM?
I love the commercial side of it. That we are able to structure bespoke finance solutions that best meet the objectives of a particular claimant. It is not a one size fits all product. I also really like the emphasis on results. If the case is not successful, LCM does not make a return so we are very focussed on picking the right cases and monitoring them to ensure they don’t run off course. It’s a very different dynamic to being in private practice where the focus is more on the process and it is a lawyer’s time that is the product.
3. How did you come to hear about ExpertsDirect?
I had heard of ExpertsDirect by reputation, and then I met Min and Richard at a function.
4. How did we assist?
ExpertsDirect have assisted the solicitors in a number of cases funded by LCM to find the best placed expert to provide the required evidence.
One matter which comes to mind is where ExpertsDirect was able to procure a highly regarded private equity expert to prepare a report on the due diligence process undertaken by a private equity firm in relation to a niche business that operated in the US.
Another is the class action LCM is funding on behalf of fishermen affected by the contamination of Gladstone Harbour when the harbour was dredged to make way for heavy shipping. In this action, we have had a need for highly specific experts in a range of scientific fields and ExpertsDirect have been able to source these experts each of whom are leaders in their respective fields.
From the perspective of a litigation funder, the service provided by ExpertsDirect is invaluable. ExpertsDirect are adept at finding the right expert even in obscure areas of expertise which may be very difficult (and time consuming) for a solicitor to try and find. ExpertsDirect also manage the expert’s delivery of a report in accordance with a court timetable. Importantly, this reduces the time required to be spent by a law firm on liaising with the expert to ensure these deadlines are met.
5. What is a perfect day for you during lockdown?
A walk in nature with a friend (as much nature as I can find in my 5km radius) followed by a few hours reading a book in the sun and then dinner cooked for me by my husband who is a much better cook than me with a nice bottle of wine. I am not sure where my children are in this idyllic day??!
6. Finally, any tips on how to cope with working from home, especially for those who are home schooling?
Routine is important as is getting out of the house regularly for exercise. I try and do some form of exercise most mornings which is much more than I would do in non- lockdown! My tip for working from home and home schooling is “have low expectations”. We can’t actually do everything and some days will be a mess but ultimately everyone is in the same boat.