2016 was the year of enthusiastic hopes for companies aiming to get compensation for truck cartel claims. Since then reality has cooled down the moods.
"Litigation management company Bentham Europe plans to fund a potential 100 billion euro ($110 billion) damages claim against Europe's .." reported Reuters.com.
"Bentham Europe to fund 10 million trucks cartel litigation..." hit the news on a professional portal in the UK.
Browsing the internet still reveals a lot of overly optimistic forecasts from 2016.
Back then many experts anticipated a quick a decisive blow on the truck makers. Investors shared the optimism and swarmed at the opportunity.
By now many had to learn the hard way, that the seemingly simple case is an exceptionally complex and costly one. Truck makers show no intention whatsoever to reach an out-of-court settlement and vigorously fight back.
Funding dried up, shortly after that turbulent changes followed.
It has become clear, that this is not a get rich quick scheme, but rather a long and hard campaign only for the really determined ones.
Bentham, an American mega hedge fund involved from the outset is no longer a participant in this market.
As the market for ATE insurances* is limited, litigation funders are constrained to rely more on their own financial capacity, which makes the deal much less attractive.
Initially, many parties decided to begin proceedings in the Netherlands. This way of claiming compensation was the preferred way to go in this case in Europe, mostly for cost considerations. But disappointingly these proceedings drag on without significant result.
It turned out that litigation in Germany is both more reliable and quicker.
Bentham is gone. Who's next?
* An After The Event (ATE) insurance is supposed to offer protection against solicitor's disbursements arising from a legal action.