When Scott Gant, the co-leader of the class actions, opt-outs, and multidistrict litigation practice group at Boies Schiller Flexner, connected his client Sysco Corp. with litigation finance company Burford Capital back in 2019, it’s safe to say there was no way he saw all this coming.
A messy and complicated dispute between Gant’s now-former client Sysco, the Fortune 100 food wholesaling giant, and Burford, the publicly-traded litigation finance company, became public this past week. Last week Burford secured a preliminary injunction from an arbitration panel majority barring Sysco from moving forward with settlements in certain antitrust cases Burford invested in without the funder’s blessing. The lender’s lawyers at Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky and Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick have asked a state court in New York to affirm that award. Sysco previously filed a petition in federal court in Illinois seeking to vacate an earlier restraining order issued by the arbitration panel, arguing the decision runs counter to public policy prohibiting financial investors from controlling a plaintiff’s settlement decisions.