2024 New York Speakers

Rob Addy

BartlitBeck LLP

Rob Addy has represented plaintiffs and defendants in dozens of multi-million and billion-dollar cases across the country. He has significant trial and pretrial experience in all types of large, complex cases, with a particular emphasis on patent and antitrust work. Past clients include Fortune 50 companies, small businesses, local technology startups, private equity firms, and major pharmaceutical manufacturers. He has litigated before eighteen different federal district courts, three federal appeals courts, five state courts, as well as the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. A former journalist who helped produce Emmy-award winning documentaries for PBS, Rob’s focus as a litigator is finding creative ways to convey complex stories to judges and juries.

Gary Barnett

Executive Director, ILFA

Gary Barnett is the Executive Director and General Counsel of the International Legal Finance Association (ILFA), which was founded to represent the global commercial legal finance community. Gary has served in a number of senior positions in government, including his most recent role at the Department of Justice as a Senior Counselor to the U.S. Attorney General. He previously served as the Staff Director and Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law. Gary received his J.D. from Georgetown University and his B.S. in Economics and History from Boston University.

Boaz Brickman

Senior Vice President, Legal at IPValue Management Inc.

Boaz Brickman is the Senior Vice President, Legal at IPValue Management Inc., one of the world’s most successful patent licensing companies. The company engages with major patent holding enterprises to develop customized patent commercialization relationships, with IPValue acting as a buyer of significant portfolios under revenue sharing arrangements. Boaz leads a team of ten attorneys and one paralegal who handle all legal issues relating to IPValue’s intellectual property, including its patent portfolios that hold over 12,000 patents worldwide.

Boaz and his team engage in a significant number of fact-based assertions against counterparties worldwide, generating several hundred million dollars in royalties for IPValue and its partners over the past few years. The majority of this revenue has been derived without resorting to litigation, but, where necessary, Boaz and his team also manage litigations against recalcitrant licensees. Boaz holds a B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a J.D. degree from the UCLA School of Law. He began his career at Kirkland & Ellis in Los Angeles, where he worked as an associate and a partner on a variety of cases involving intellectual property, from shipboard air defense systems, to complex contractual disputes, to medical devices such as spinal implants.

Christopher Bogart

Chief Executive Officer Burford Capital

Christopher Bogart is Chief Executive Officer of Burford Capital, the leading global finance and asset management firm focused on law. Under his leadership, Burford has become the world’s largest global provider of commercial legal finance and a force in the global legal market. Before co-founding Burford, Mr. Bogart held numerous senior executive positions with Time Warner. As Executive Vice President & General Counsel of Time Warner Inc., he managed one of the largest legal functions in the world. Mr. Bogart came to Time Warner from Cravath, where he was a litigator representing companies such as IBM, GE and Time Warner.

Michael Bowe

Partner, Brown Rudnick

Michael Bowe is a partner and co-chair of the Firm’s Litigation & Arbitration Practice Group. Michael has almost
thirty years of experience successfully litigating virtually every type of high-stakes business and personal case, on
both the plaintiff and defense side, and at both the trial and appellate level. He has navigated to safety many companies and high net worth individuals facing serious criminal and regulatory jeopardy. He also provides crisis management advice during periods of substantial duress. He typically tries or arbitrates multiple cases each year, where he turns complex disputes into simple, compelling stories. He has employed novel solutions to problems other lawyers had advised clients could not be effectively addressed.

According to one of the most experienced trial lawyers in America, “Michael is simply elite.” The press has described Michael as an atypical Wall Street lawyer who is “blue-collar,” “not white-shoe,” and “positively exudes an air of self-assurance.” Michael is a ferocious fighter for his clients. As one former adversary who became a client explained, “he cares as much about winning your case as you do, and sometimes it seems more.”

Michael is recognized by Chambers USA in the Commercial Litigation category. In the 2023 guide, clients have made
the following comments: “He has a fabulous legal mind, he is a terrific litigator on his feet and he cares deeply about
the client.” “Michael is very persistent and very smart. He can take on one, two, three of the largest firms on the other
side and none of that bothers him.”

Michael frequently speaks on CNBC, Fox Business News, Bloomberg, and other networks, and his work has been the
subject of books, magazine stories, and a Frontline documentary.

After graduating first in his class at New York Law School, Michael clerked for the Honorable Lenore C. Nesbitt, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, and has spent the rest of his near thirty years practicing at Sullivan & Cromwell, Kasowitz Benson Torres, and Brown Rudnick.

Marc Carmel

Member, Business Restructuring Services Department, McDonald Hopkins

Marc Carmel is a member of McDonald Hopkins’ Business Restructuring Services Department and the founder and Co-Head of McDonald Hopkins’ Litigation Finance Group.

Marc has extensive experience in the litigation finance industry. He represents clients in all aspects of the industry, including plaintiffs and law firms seeking funding and insurance related to litigation funding, traditional and non-traditional funders and insurance companies involved in the litigation funding industry, and investors who provide capital to litigation funders. Before joining McDonald Hopkins, he was the leader of a commercial litigation finance firm’s involvement in the bankruptcy and restructuring sector. While there, he was responsible for investment sourcing, due diligence, and monitoring of investments. Marc is a frequent speaker on topics involving litigation funding and has been a guest lecturer for a course on litigation finance at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.

Additionally, Marc has two decades of experience representing public and private companies, private equity and other investment firms, directors and executives, lenders, committees, and equityholders in distress and non-distress engagements. He advises clients regarding strategic alternatives, including: out-of-court and in court restructurings and bankruptcies; mergers and acquisitions, refinancings, recapitalizations, and sales; and fiduciary duties and governance matters.

Marc earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and his Masters of Accounting and Bachelor of Business Administration degrees from the University of Michigan.

Ryan Dunigan

General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary, Corning Optical Communications

Ryan Dunigan serves as the division general counsel, chief compliance officer, and corporate secretary for Corning Optical Communications (COC), which is the largest subsidiary of Corning Incorporated, a fortune 300 global specialty glass, ceramics, and tech manufacturer.  

Prior to serving as the division general counsel for COC, Ryan served as the chief of staff to Corning Incorporated’s chief legal and administrative officer, where he served as a confidante and advisor on corporate and legal issues and managed the day-to-day operations of Corning’s 180+ member global legal team.  Prior to joining Corning, Ryan was a litigator and trial attorney at Winston & Strawn.  At Winston, Ryan practice focused on financial services litigation, representing banks and private equity firms, and complex commercial litigation, representing clients across a range of industries.  In between two different stints at Winston, Ryan served as the temporary acting director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights, which is charged with investigating discrimination claims. 

Ryan is a current board member of the University of Chicago Alumni Board, Uptown People’s Law Center, and Legal Prep Charter Academy. 

Ryan earned a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and a law degree and master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago.

Dai Wai chin feman

Managing Director—Commercial Litigation, Parabellum

Dai Wai leads Parabellum’s commercial litigation vertical. Since joining the firm in 2018, he has closed dozens of investments from inception, with aggregate capital commitments in excess of $600 million.

Dai Wai is one of three individuals in the US ranked to be Band 1 by Chambers for litigation funding and one of The Legal 500’s eight global “Industry Leaders.” He has also been recognized by Leaders League as one of the leading litigation funding professionals in the US, by Lawdragon as a global leader in legal finance, and by Lexology as the inaugural winner of the Client Choice Award for third-party funding in the US. He frequently speaks and comments on developing issues in the industry, and has written on legal finance for Bloomberg Law, Law360, Carrier Management, ACC Docket, Corporate Counsel, and The Law Reviews.

Dai Wai also manages Parabellum’s public policy initiatives. He is actively involved in ILFA’s US Regional Committee and has testified before multiple legislative bodies on matters related to legal finance. He previously served on the New York City Bar Association’s Litigation Funding Working Group, as well as participated in legal finance studies by the Government Accountability Office and Uniform Law Commission.

Prior to joining Parabellum, Dai Wai was a litigation partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP. He received his A.B. from Georgetown University and his J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Judge Robert Dow

United States District Judge, Counselor to the Chief Justice

Robert M. Dow, Jr. has served as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois since December 2007. On December 5, 2022, he assumed new duties as Counselor to Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. In this capacity, he serves as the Supreme Court’s chief operating officer and assists the Chief Justice in his administrative responsibilities as head of the federal judiciary. These include the Chief Justice’s roles as Chair of the Judicial Conference of the United States, Chair of the Board of the Federal Judicial Center, and Chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution.

From 2013 to 2022, Judge Dow served on the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. He chaired the committee’s Rule 23 Subcommittee from 2013 to 2017 and MDL Subcommittee from 2017 to 2020 and served as Chair of the full committee from 2020 to 2022. Judge Dow was a member of the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules from 2010 to 2013. He has sat by designation on the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the Board of Editors for the revision of the Manual for Complex Litigation, 4th. He teaches complex litigation as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

Prior to his judicial service, Dow was a partner in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown LLP and the President of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association (2005-06). Judge Dow received a B.A. (1987) in History and Political Science from Yale University. He earned M. Phil. (1990) and D. Phil. (1997) degrees in International Relations from the University of Oxford, which he attended on a Rhodes Scholarship, and a J.D. (1993) from Harvard Law School. Immediately after law school, he clerked for Judge Joel M. Flaum of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

William Farrell

Co-Founder, Managing Director, and General Counsel, Longford Capital

William P. Farrell, Jr. is a founder, Managing Director and General Counsel of Longford Capital. Bill is responsible for investment sourcing, underwriting, and monitoring. Bill serves on Longford’s Investment Committee. Bill is recognized as a leader in the commercial litigation and litigation finance industries. Bill has been awarded the highest possible rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5.0) by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating System for legal ability, expertise, experience, integrity and overall professional excellence. Since 2015, Bill has been included in the IAM Strategy 300 – The World’s Leading IP Strategists, an annual listing of individuals with an established track record in developing and implementing world class intellectual property value creation programs. In 2018 and 2019, Lawdragon recognized Bill as one of the 100 leading legal consultants and strategists in the world. Since 2020, Lawdragon has recognized Bill as one of the 100 global leaders in legal finance. Chambers and Partners annually ranks Longford Capital among the best litigation finance firms.

Longford is a founding member of the International Legal Finance Association and Bill has served as a member of the Board of Directors of ILFA since its founding.

Bill is an adjunct professor of law at the Baylor Law School teaching a course on litigation finance as part of the Baylor Law School LL.M. program on Litigation Management.

Bill is an experienced trial lawyer with more than 20 years of litigation and trial experience as both a government prosecutor and as a partner in the commercial litigation departments of two prominent national law firms, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP and Gardner, Carton & Douglas LLP (n/k/a Faegre, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP). He served as the lead attorney in dozens of cases and has taken numerous cases through trial and appeal. His practice included defense of antitrust claims and investigations, defense of class actions, healthcare litigation, intellectual property and trade secret litigation, First Amendment and defamation cases, consumer and commercial fraud, and a variety of contract and commercial disputes.

Prior to entering private practice, Bill served as a prosecutor in the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. As a government prosecutor, Bill served as the lead attorney in numerous trials and represented the State of Illinois in several cases before the Illinois Appellate Court. Bill has also been appointed a Special Assistant Illinois Attorney General in connection with the representation of government officials and government agencies.

Bill is active in philanthropic and civic endeavors. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, Chicago Club, Chicago Inn of Court, Chicago Commonwealth Club, American Bar Association, and Chicago Bar Association.

Kenneth R. Feinberg

Court-appointed Mediator

Kenneth R. Feinberg is one of the Nation’s leading experts in alternative dispute resolution. He is currently the Court-appointed Mediator in the Imerys/Cyprus talc bankruptcy in Delaware and was formerly the Court-appointed Mediator in the Hess-Honx asbestos bankruptcy in Texas. He previously served as the voluntary Mediator in the Georgia Pacific/Bestwall bankruptcy in North Carolina, was co-Mediator in the successful Owens Illinois/Paddock asbestos bankruptcy proceeding in North Carolina and was formerly the Court-ordered Estimation Expert in the Johnson & Johnson/LTL Management bankruptcy in New Jersey.

He has served as the Court-appointed Mediator in the successful resolution of the Purdue and Mallinckrodt opioid bankruptcies in the Southern District of New York and Delaware.

Mr. Feinberg has been designated by the Federal Government to serve in a variety of public compensation and related funding programs over the past 25 years. He previously served as Special Master of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, the Department of Justice Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism Fund, the Department of Justice Boeing 737 Max Crash Victim Beneficiaries Compensation Fund, the Department of the Treasury’s TARP Executive Compensation Program and the Treasury’s Private Multiemployer Pension Reform program.

He was also appointed by the Obama Administration to oversee compensation of victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In addition to his acting as Mediator and Administrator in a wide variety of federally related compensation programs, Mr. Feinberg has also served as Administrator of 23 Catholic Church Dioceses’ Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Funds designed to compensate the victims of Church sexual abuse. He also served as Administrator of the One Orlando Fund following a terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub, the General Motors Ignition Switch Compensation Program, and the One Fund Boston Compensation Program arising out of the Boston Marathon bombings. He was also the Mediator in the successful effort to return an original Chagall painting from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to its original family owners in Europe.

He previously served as the Court-appointed Settlement Master in the Fiat/Chrysler Diesel Emissions class action settlement in San Francisco and is currently the Court-appointed Special Settlement Master in the national federal multi-district mass tort Roundup litigation.

Mr. Feinberg has been appointed mediator and arbitrator in thousands of complex disputes over the past 40 years.

Christopher Halmy

Former CFO, Ally Financial

Christopher Halmy is the former Chief Financial Officer of Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY), where he led the multinational initial public offering for the company and was responsible for Ally Financial Inc.’s $25 billion investment portfolio. Before that, Mr. Halmy worked in various finance, accounting and treasury roles at JP Morgan, Bank of America and MBNA. He began his career as an auditor at Deloitte.

Mr. Halmy has served as a non-executive director on the board of Burford Capital since May 2022. Mr. Halmy also serves as the chair of the Audit Committee.

Mr. Halmy also serves as the non-executive chairman and chair of the audit committee of Mercury® Financial LLC. He has previously served as a non-executive director of Mosaic Sustainable Finance Corp, and Spectrum Automotive Holdings Corporation prior to its sale in 2021.

Mr. Halmy earned his MBA and undergraduate degrees from Villanova University, where he currently serves as a member of the Provost Advisory Board, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Liz Hoffman

Business and Finance Editor, Semafor

Liz Hoffman is the business and finance editor at Semafor, a global news organization that launched in 2022. Before that, she spent nine years at The Wall Street Journal, covering financial markets, corporate dealmaking, and the machinations of Wall Street. Her book, Crash Landing: The Inside Story of How the World’s Biggest Companies Survived an Economy on the Brink, was published in 2023 by Penguin Random House. 

Philip Iovieno

Co-chair, Antitrust Litigation Group, Cadwalader

Philip Iovieno is the co-chair of Cadwalader’s Antitrust Litigation Group, with a practice focused on representing plaintiffs and defendants in antitrust and other complex commercial litigation. He has extensive experience in federal and state courts throughout the country, including having led or co-led multiple jury trials through verdict.

Phil has built an undisputed track record of success for clients on both sides of the “v,” having recovered more than $1 billion for corporate victims of various price-fixing cartels and other antitrust violations. Phil has also obtained dismissals of a wide variety of antitrust and other claims brought against Fortune 500 and private corporations, as well as non-profit institutions. He is consistently recognized by Lawdragon as one of the “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers.”

Phil has published multiple articles and received the New York State Bar Association’s Legal Ethics Award for his article, “Restrictive Covenants, Non-Compete Agreements and DR 2-108.”

He received his J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University, where he was Articles Editor of the Albany Law Review, and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Siena College.

Sarah Johnson

Head of Litigation Investing, The D.E. Shaw Group

Sarah Johnson serves as head of the Litigation Investing team within the D. E. Shaw group’s Private Credit investment unit. The Litigation Investing team provides financing solutions to law firms, plaintiffs, and other parties involved in commercial litigation. Ms. Johnson joined the D. E. Shaw group in 2006 as an analyst primarily working on distressed credit-related investments, including restructurings, opportunities in stressed equities, litigation plays (including monetizing litigation assets), and bankruptcy liquidations. She has led the Litigation Investing team since its formation in 2018.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Johnson was an associate in the restructuring and finance group of
the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. She began her career as an investment banking
analyst at Salomon Smith Barney Inc. Ms. Johnson graduated cum laude from Duke University with a B.A. in economics and received her J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a managing editor of the Columbia Law Review and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and James Kent Scholar.

Michael E. Lackey

Partner, Mayer Brown

Mike Lackey serves on Mayer Brown’ global Management Committee. He previously served on the firm’s global Partnership Board, as lead of the global Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice and as the Partner-in-Charge of the Washington, DC office. Mike also serves on the Global Advisory Board of the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF), and he was one of six men first named to serve on that Board. He currently serves WILEF as its Deputy Global Chairperson for Gold Standard Certification. Mike practices both civil and criminal litigation, focusing in particular on complex antitrust, cartel, government contracts, and competition cases.  

William R. LaFontaine, Jr.

Senior Advisor, Intellectual Property, IBM Corporation

William LaFontaine is a recognized leader in the areas of technology licensing, technology partnerships and intellectual property.  Dr. LaFontaine is currently a Senior Advisor to Columbia Technology Ventures and an Executive in Residence. In July 2023, Dr. LaFontaine retired from IBM as General Manager of Intellectual Property at IBM. In this role, Dr. LaFontaine and his team worked at the intersection of Research, Business Units and Clients to accelerate market introduction of new technologies including Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing and Semiconductor technologies.  Dr. LaFontaine was responsible for annually delivering over a billion dollars in joint development, technology transfer and patent licensing over the last nine years.

In his 30-year career at IBM, Dr. LaFontaine has been the Chief Operating Officer for IBM’s Research division, General Manager of Global Technology Services in Middle East and Africa as well as General Manager of Worldwide Semiconductor and Technology sales. 

Travis lenkner

Founder & CEO, Larkspur Partners

Recognized by The American Lawyer as an “innovative business creator in the legal space,” Travis Lenkner has built and led pathbreaking organizations at the intersection of law and finance. As Founder and CEO of Larkspur Partners, Travis invests in and advises law- and technology-related ventures while providing strategic counsel to national law firm leaders and litigation-finance investors.

For more than a decade, Travis has been a global leader in the litigation-finance market. In 2013, he entered the nascent field as a launch partner in Gerchen Keller Capital, which was acquired by Burford Capital Ltd. in 2016. At Burford, Travis served as Managing Director and was a member of the global Management and Investment Committees. Most recently, Travis was a founding member of Gerchen Capital Partners.

Most recently, Travis co-founded and was Managing Partner of one of the nation’s premier complex-litigation and mass-action law firms, Keller Lenkner LLC, as well as the firm’s European counterpart, Keller Lenkner UK Ltd.

Before starting his own enterprises, Travis was Senior Counsel at The Boeing Company and an attorney in the New York and Washington, D.C. offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
Travis was a law clerk for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy at the Supreme Court of the United States and for then-Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He earned his law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Kansas State University.

Craig Martin

Willkie, Farr, & Gallagher LLP

Mr. Martin serves on the Aspen Institute board of trustees, is a member of its Executive Committee and chairs its Audit & Risk Committee. He is a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago board of directors, its Executive Committee and chairs its Nominating and Governance Committee. He also serves on the boards of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Crown Family Philanthropies, the Chicago Urban League, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, World Business Chicago and the University of Chicago Law School Advisory Council. He is a member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Economic Club of Chicago and the National Association of Corporate Directors.

For nearly two decades, he was a member of the Corporate Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, including serving as secretary, vice-chairman and as chairman from 2011 to 2014. Mr. Martin remains a Trustee at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago.

Mr. Martin teaches Advanced Trial Advocacy at Harvard Law School and Crisis Management at the Stanford Directors College.

Kim S. Magyar

General Counsel, Retail Division, McLane Company, Inc.

Kim S. Magyar is the General Counsel for McLane Company, Inc.’s Retail division. McLane provides retail and restaurant supply chain solutions to convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores, restaurants and warehouse clubs. McLane and its subsidiaries operate 80 distribution centers and one of the nation’s largest private fleets.  The retail division optimizes the purchase, flow and sale of tens of thousands of consumer products to over 46,000 retail locations across the United States. Kim provides strategic legal advice on retail transactional, litigation and operational matters. She focuses on legal services that reduce overall legal, regulatory and compliance risk, while growing revenue and income through flexible and innovative business arrangements and ventures. Kim earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her law degree from Marquette University.  Kim has served on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s litigation center’s advisory committee and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Temple Symphony Orchestra located in Temple, Texas. 

Michael Perich

Senior Vice President and Head of Litigation Insurance, Transaction Liability Practice, Lockton

Prior to joining Lockton, Michael spent much of hiscareer working at the world’s largest litigation finance company, Burford Capital, aswell as a Chambers-ranked litigation finance broker, Westfleet Advisors. In these roles,he helped a wide range of clients—including multinational corporations and AmLaw100 firms—use innovative litigation finance structure to achieve their financial objectives. Michael is also a former litigator, having represented clients on contingency fee, alternative fee, and hourly fee arrangements. He now uses those skillsets to help his clients structure bespoke insurance policies designed to help his clients achieve their financial objectives.

Michael has been recognized by LawDragon as one of the top 100 Global Leaders in litigation finance and is listed in the IAM Strategy 300, a guide listing individuals who innovatively create and action strategies which realize and amplify the worth of IP portfolios.

Ryan Phair

Co-Chair, Antitrust and Competition Practice, Paul Hastings

Ryan Phair is Co-Chair of the Antitrust and Competition practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. He is an experienced trial lawyer and appellate advocate whose practice focuses on complex civil, criminal, and international litigation and arbitrations; internal, congressional, and grand jury investigations; and public policy, strategic counseling, and crisis communications.

Mr. Phair has represented corporate and individual clients, both as plaintiffs and defendants, in a broad spectrum of complex litigation and arbitrations at the trial and appellate levels, including antitrust, securities, RICO, ERISA, FCA, fraud, false advertising, data breach, privacy, public nuisance, and other types of class and individual actions. On behalf of plaintiffs, he has successfully recovered over $1 billion for his clients, making him one of a few select lawyers to have ever achieved this feat. On behalf of defendants, Mr. Phair has an equally remarkable track record of success spanning dozens of complex cases, investigations, and enforcement actions. Mr. Phair is also an expert in the rapidly expanding field of mass arbitration and regularly advises clients and coordinates strategic responses to such campaigns.

In his spare time, Mr. Phair serves on the adjunct law faculty at Georgetown University Law Center and is passionate about teaching and training the next generation of lawyers.

Neil Purslow

Therium Capital

Neil co-founded Therium in 2008 and is a director of Therium Capital Management Limited and the firm’s Chief Investment Officer.  Neil is a solicitor with over 26 years experience and was previously Litigation Counsel in-house for Marsh & MacLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC).  Prior to this he was in practice in the City of London with US firm Reed Smith and Withers.

Neil is Chair of the Executive Committee and on the management committee of ILFA, he is also a board member of the Association of Litigation Funders, the self-regulatory body for the litigation funding industry in England and Wales.  Neil has given expert evidence on litigation funding and speaks regularly at conferences and is often quoted in the media on issues related to the industry and asset class.  He gained an MA in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford (1995). 

Neil was ranked as a Tier 1 individual in litigation finance by Chambers and Partners, Leaders League, Law Dragon and other directories. Clients attest that Neil is “a safe pair of hands in a risky industry,” and “the cleverest thinker in funding, who understands the business. He’s very easy to deal with and speedy at turning things around.”

Judge Shira Scheindlin

U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York

Shira A. Scheindlin served for 22 years as a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. She recently completed a two-year term as the Co-Chair of the Board of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She is also a member of the Boards of the American Constitution Society and the Justice Resource Center. She currently serves as a mediator and arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), FedArb, CPR and ICDR, and is a member of the College of Commercial Arbitrators. She has mediated or arbitrated many matters and has served as a special master, mock trial judge, consultant, and expert witness. She served on the Investment Advisory Panel of Woodsford LF (UK) since 2017. She recently joined the law firm of Boies Schiller & Flexner.

Judge Scheindlin served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, General Counsel for the New York City Department of Investigation, and Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York. During her tenure at the Southern District, Judge Scheindlin presided over many complex and highly-publicized cases involving civil rights and public policy, most notably Floyd v. City of New York, which ended New York’s unconstitutional practice of stop and frisk. She also handled many securities class actions and multi-district litigations.

Judge Scheindlin served as a member of the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the ABA’s Standing Committee on the American Judicial System, the American Law Institute, and was a former Chair of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association. She has also taught or lectured at many law schools. Judge Scheindlin is the co-author of the first e-discovery casebook and has written many articles on a wide variety of subjects. She is the co-author of “If Not Now When?” which reported on the progress of women lawyers appearing in court and its successor “The Time is Now.” She is a frequent speaker on the topics of ADR practice, racial justice, and gender equality.

Charles Schmerler

Head of Litigation Finance, Pretium

Charles D. Schmerler is Senior Managing Director and Head of Litigation Finance at Pretium Partners, a $55 billion alternative asset management firm based in New York.  The Litigation Finance group at Pretium works with litigants and law firms globally in high value corporate and commercial, IP and patent, distressed debt and insolvency and related matters in all forms of disputes.  Before joining Pretium, Mr. Schmerler was a litigation partner at the global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, where he served as lead counsel to corporate and government clients in litigation and arbitration proceedings globally. He has been involved extensively in litigation finance for well over a decade, representing litigants and funders alike before co-founding the Pretium litigation finance practice. 

Mr. Schmerler served as a member of the nine person American Bar Association 20/20 Ethics Commission working group on alternative litigation finance that drafted the ABA’s 2012 white paper on litigation funding.  He has spoken and published frequently on legal finance for over a decade and is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Center on Civil Litigation at NYU Law School’s dispute resolution library.  He is the editor and author of a treatise on the law of international insolvency and restructuring and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Sam Sheldon

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP

Sam Sheldon is a partner in Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP’s San Diego office, where he focuses on securities fraud and other complex civil litigation. Before joining the Firm in January 2024, Sam served more than five years as a United States Magistrate Judge in the

Southern District of Texas, primarily in Houston. He wrote opinions in almost every area of the law, including securities fraud, intellectual property, class actions, labor and employment, False Claims Act, and criminal law.

Before taking the federal bench, Sam was a partner with Quinn Emanuel in the Washington, D.C. office and headed the firm’s Health Care Practice Group. He represented plaintiffs in landmark cases brought under the federal False Claims Act. Sam previously served as Chief of the Health Care Fraud Unit in the DOJ Criminal Division in Washington, D.C., where he oversaw the prosecution of federal health care fraud throughout the United States. He also was an Assistant United States Attorney in Texas. Earlier in his career, Sam was a partner with Cozen O’Connor in the San Diego office.

Sam has tried 25 cases as a federal prosecutor and civil litigator. He received numerous awards for his successful federal prosecutions from the DOJ and other federal agencies including the Special Achievement Award presented by the United States Attorney General. 

Sam is most proud of his pro bono accomplishments, including successfully persuading Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama to grant eight federal clemency petitions. Feature stories describing his legal victories have appeared in The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal,Los Angeles Daily Journal, The San Diego-Union Tribune, San Diego Lawyer, ABC Nightly News, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. A victory in one of Sam’s pro bono cases was selected by the Editor of The American Lawyer as the “Most Inspiring Pro Bono Win of 2015.”

Joshua Schmidt

Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, InterDigital

Joshua D. Schmidt is InterDigital’s Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, responsible for managing the company’s legal functions. Mr. Schmidt joined InterDigital in March 2015 and previously served as Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, with responsibility for the company’s corporate, commercial, employment and compliance functions, as well as the Company’s ESG initiatives and was promoted to Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary in October 2021.  Prior to that role, Mr. Schmidt served in a variety of roles within InterDigital’s legal department, with primary responsibility for the company’s M&A, corporate governance, and commercial contracting functions.  Before joining InterDigital in 2015, Mr. Schmidt was an associate at Dechert LLP., where he focused his practice on private and public company M&A, securities offerings, venture capital transactions and joint ventures. Mr. Schmidt holds a Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Finance from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dom Spinelli

Head of Contingent & Litigation Risk for North America, VALE Insurance Partners

Dom Spinelli is the Head of Contingent & Litigation Risk for North America at VALE Insurance Partners.  Prior to joining VALE, Dom was Head of Contingent Legal Risk Insurance for the Americas at Liberty GTS, where he helped build out Liberty’s contingent liability practice in the US.  Dom is a former litigator, having litigated a wide range of complex commercial disputes across the country.  In addition to his litigation experience, Dom has represented insurers with respect to hundreds of complex insurance claims, including analyzing potential exposures and coverage issues presented by a number of high-profile litigation risks.  Dom also previously worked as a representations and warranties underwriter, so he has experience analyzing transactional risks and is intimately familiar with the M&A insurance industry.  Dom received a BA from Providence College and his JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law.  Dom is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, and the Southern and Eastern District Courts of New York.

Ursula Ungaro

Partner, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP

Retired Judge Ursula Ungaro joined Boies Schiller Flexner LLP as a partner in June 2021 upon her retirement from the federal bench of the Southern District of Florida. Judge Ungaro was appointed to serve as a federal judge in 1992 after being nominated by President George H.W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. In her time on the federal bench, she presided over and ruled in numerous major civil and criminal cases. These matters required the application of constitutional, federal and state law and the resolution of complex legal issues in virtually every area of the law.

During her long tenure on the federal bench, Ms. Ungaro served on national, regional and local committees responsible for court administration. Most notably, she served for eight years as a member of the Judicial Resources Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, which committee is responsible for making compensation and other human resource-related recommendations to the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. She also served as Chair of the Southern District of Florida’s Clerks Committee and the Magistrate Judges Committee from time to time at the pleasure of the Chief Judge.

Following her graduation with honors from the University of Florida School of Law in 1975 (one of just 17 women in a class of about 250), Ms. Ungaro practiced law in Miami, Florida where in 1981 she became a partner in Tew, Critchlow, Sonberg, Traum & Friedbauer, P.A. (later merged into Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Heine, Underberg, Manley, Myerson & Casey, a national law firm). She subsequently joined Sparber, Shevin, Shapo & Heilbronner, a prestigious local law firm, as a partner. She practiced law mainly in the area of complex commercial litigation, including in the areas of securities, corporate and tax law. From 1987 to 1992, Ms. Ungaro served as a trial judge on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida. She has authored published articles in the areas of administrative law, legal ethics, and civil procedure. She is the recipient of many awards and has been recognized on several occasions for her achievements in the law and service to the community.

Ms. Ungaro serves on the board of directors of Longeveron, Inc., a publicly traded company registered on the NASDAQ and on the board of directors of Bradford Holdings, Inc. a privately held holding company. She also has had numerous community involvements. Among others, she served on the Florida Supreme Court Race and Bias Commission, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Family Learning Partnership, a not-for-profit that supports needy families with educational and related resources, and participates on a voluntary basis (having formerly participated in her judicial capacity) in CARE Court, a court-assisted reentry program for moderate and high risk offenders recently released from prison.

Raymond van Hulst

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Omni Bridgeway

Raymond van Hulst is an industry veteran with more than 20 years’ experience structuring innovative solutions for complex and high value dispute funding and legal enforcement matters globally.

Mr van Hulst has established three institutionally backed funds aimed at funding legal disputes and enforcement matters. He established continental Europe’s first litigation fund, with EUR 150 million (Omni Bridgeway’s Fund 6). He subsequently established a world-first US$100 million litigation fund and joint venture with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank for the Distressed Asset Recovery Program focused on litigation funding and enforcement for non-performing loans in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Mr. van Hulst has also managed the structuring of the innovative insurance wrapped Fund 8, which Omni Bridgeway launched in 2023.

Mr van Hulst has been in various leadership roles within Omni Bridgeway since 2002, involved in all aspects of the business. He played a significant role in both the 2019 merger with IMF Bentham Limited and the 2017 acquisition of German funder Roland ProzessFinanz resulting in Omni Bridgeway’s position as the world’s leading provider of legal finance. 

katharine wolanyk

Managing Director, Burford Capital

Katharine Wolanyk is a Managing Director with responsibility for leading Burford’s global intellectual property litigation finance business. The former head of Burford’s Chicago office, Ms. Wolanyk is now based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Ms. Wolanyk is an industry leader in legal finance and writes and speaks frequently on intellectual property issues. Prior to joining Burford, Ms. Wolanyk was President of Soverain Software; IP counsel to a publicly-traded IT solutions firm; General Counsel of a managed hosting provider; Senior Vice President of corporate development at a publicly-traded enterprise software company; a corporate attorney at Latham & Watkins; and a systems engineer at Hughes Aircraft Company, where she worked on the radar system for the stealth bomber.

Ms. Wolanyk graduated from the University of Chicago Law School and has a BS in engineering from Michigan State University.