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04 August 2020

LCM makes Australian insolvency hire as firm eyes rise in pandemic-related disputes

Helene Roins joins AIM-listed funder in Sydney as country's new litigation financing rules loom

By Ben Rigby

Helene Roins, LCM's new Sydney hire

Helene Roins, an experienced insolvency and restructuring lawyer, has joined Litigation Capital Management in Sydney as the firm gears up for a rise in potential claims fuelled by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

She joins LCM from Sydney rival Litigation Lending Services where she spent almost two-and-a-half years covering the Australasian legal market. Prior to that Roins was a senior associate at TressCox Lawyers for 15 years before the mid-market firm was acquired by HWL Ebsworth Lawyers in early 2018, leaving shortly after.

Roins said she was happy to join LCM, calling it: “a reputable organisation that has experienced strong growth over the past few years.”

She has a strong background in insolvency and restructuring disputes, including acting for corporates, shareholders, directors and insolvency practitioners in New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian federal jurisdictions. She has also been active in female insolvency networking groups in both Victoria and NSW.

Her insurance sector experience saw her defend an AUD30m claim involving a directors’ and officers’ liability policy on behalf of a leading Australian insurer. Meanwhile, her shareholder experience has been applied in addressing corporate and director misconduct in company law proceedings, where she has upheld investor interests against those who have broken their legal and fiduciary duties.

Roins has extensive experience at both state and federal level of liquidator’s examinations, giving her keen forensic experience in relation to asset-tracing. That experience, and her investment management skills in assessing, funding and managing insolvency litigation and class actions, will be invaluable to LCM.

LCM’s chief executive officer Patrick Moloney said Roins is “a highly experienced practitioner,” adding that insolvency disputes is an area where the funder anticipates significant growth in the next 12 to 18 months.

The funder closed a $150m third-party fund in March, which attracted strong interest following previous equity-backed capital raises, and also posted solid half-year figures thanks to a series of portfolio deals.

Roins said the funder’s past track record in insolvency and commercial disputes matched her career experience in both private practice and in litigation finance, leading her to make the switch.

Her move follows LCM’s March hire of experienced London-based construction disputes specialist James Foster from Augusta Ventures, as well as the hire of a new chief financial officer, Mary Gangemi.

Regulatory changes loom

Along with others, LCM has given evidence to an ongoing federal parliamentary enquiry into litigation funding in Australia ahead of a planned rule change in August that will require litigation funders to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) and comply with regulations applied to managed investment schemes.

LCM currently holds and maintains an AFSL. Speaking to the legal media, Moloney said he supported more regulation, telling Law 360: “We’ve been happy to embrace regulation. We think it’s good for the industry as it adds a layer of transparency and credibility.”

Litigation funding of insolvency matters was excluded from the new regulations, following lobbying by insolvency practitioners and others, so as to enable funders to support litigation designed to maximise returns to creditors–adding further value to LCM’s new hire.

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