Hanotiau, partner at Hanotiau Van Den Berg in Brussels, joined the funder on 3 September. As a member of Vannin’s investment committee, he will assist in the review of potential and pending cases.

His appointment comes nearly a year after ICC International Court of Arbitration chairmanJohn Beechey joined the investment advisory panel of another disputes funder, Woodsford Litigation Funding.

Joining Vannin with Hanotiau are former English High Court judge Sir Stephen Silber, who will chair the investment committee, and Appleby senior counsel Paul Morris, who will be a non-executive director.

Vannin, named after the Manx name for its home territory, was founded in 2010 and says it has a litigation fund of more than US$160 million.

In the past year, Vannin also hired former Latham & Watkins senior associate Iain McKenny as general counsel of disputes and senior counsel Yasmin Mohammad, a former senior associate in Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s international arbitration group.

Among its current cases is a US$450 million claim brought by the owner of Azerbaijan’s largest oil and gas project, Caspian Energy Group, against Credit Suisse International. Caspian Energy Group is represented by Gordon Dadds while Credit Suisse is represented by Herbert Smith Freehills in the claim.

Mohammad says of Hanotiau’s arrival, “We are naturally thrilled to have the opportunity to discuss cases and investment opportunities with such an experienced and learned arbitrator.”

She adds that Vannin has “thorough internal procedures and information alerts” in place to prevent any conflicts of interest arising for its members. “As a matter of principle, we are all very sensitive to the issue of conflicts because we consider that our reputation and our impeccable professional standards are our most valuable assets.”

Hanotiau is co-chair of the International Bar Association working group that has been consulting on revisions to the 2004 IBA guidelines on conflicts of interest in international arbitration. The updated guidelines are expected to be approved at the IBA’s conference in Tokyo later this month.

Vannin’s new hire comes at a time when third-party funding is increasingly the subject of debate in the international arbitration community, following remarks by Australian arbitration Gavan Griffith QC that funded claimants should be required to pay security for costs in investment treaty cases. Chris Bogart of US funder Burford Capital has criticised Griffith’s “preposterous overreaction”, prompting a rebuttal by Peter Griffin, managing directorof investment claims consultancy Slaney Advisors.

Hanotiau addressed the subject of third-party funding at last year’s GAR Live Hong Kong, where he said that the phenomenon was “good to the extent that it provides access to our system of arbitration, as long as there is transparency … There needs to be transparency because if the funded party loses the arbitration, there is no guarantee that the other party will get back its costs.”

Notes to Editors:

For more information on Vannin Capital, please contact: Meika Aysal, Marketing at Vannin Capital, T: +44 207 099 5180, E: ma@vannin.com

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