Founder and CEO
Clare Ducksbury is an inspirational leader, an advanced thought-leader in the mass claims/class actions space, and most importantly, a pioneering leader who strives to educate her team to progress collective action knowledge and expertise within their respective disciplines. Clare is a people person with a particular focus on ensuring the core values of Case Pilots are reflected in everything her team does. She encourages her team to take accountability for the work they manage, resulting in several employees developing into influential leaders, safe in the knowledge that they are supported in exploring the full extent of their capabilities.
Clare draws inspiration from the many successful female leaders in the legal arena. “In particular, I would mention Caroline Goodman of Institutional Protection and Susan Dunn of Harbour Litigation Funding,” she says. “In the early days, when I was first embarking on a career in the UK collective actions space, I worked closely with both of these incredible women, who were focusing on their respective start-up companies at the time.” When it came to founding Case Pilots having witnessed their journeys, and knowing that they had made such a success of their businesses, it gave Clare the confidence to take a leap of faith!
As Founder and CEO of Case Pilots, Clare continuously strives to grow not only Case Pilots’ offering within the mass claims/class actions arena but also the level of understanding, and meaningful connections, within the space. Clare has been relentless in her vision for efficient use and management of data in the context of collective actions to ensure the accurate storytelling of the individual claimant, with the people or businesses who have been wronged placed front of mind in all the work undertaken by Case Pilots. Her vision for Case Pilots has always been to provide a comprehensive service for cases involving mass claims, that focuses primarily on the interests of the claimants. She is consistently one step ahead of the curve and is progressive in her plans for the future of the business, both in respect of the portfolio of services offered to legal professions and internal growth. The numbers speak for themselves; Case Pilots’ workforce grew by 433% during the pandemic due to an increased appetite for the invaluable services Case Pilots can provide – whilst, the list of business contacts rose by 877%. Most importantly, Clare is entrepreneurial, transparent and a positive thinker, always striving to reach the next milestone for the business.
Over the course of 24+ years, Clare has been instrumental in the administration of various high-profile and significant collective actions, including international Holocaust reparation programs (in Switzerland, the UK and the US); the landmark Birmingham City Council equal pay ruling; the groundbreaking settlement in the marine hose antitrust case (on behalf of all European purchasers); and more recently driving the strategic direction of the administration of UK class actions filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Clare’s passion for this work began in 1998, when she moved to Switzerland and spent 4 years as Project Manager of the Claims Resolution Tribunal of the Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation (a $1.25bn US class action settlement). In that role, she headed up all back-office functions to support the Tribunal that was established to adjudicate and resolve claims to published dormant accounts. The Tribunal processed over 70,000 complex claims from 27 countries in 20 different languages.
Clare’s next adventure in the collective action space came during her 10 years as a Partner at Forensic Risk Alliance (‘FRA’). While at FRA, she lived in New York for a year, advising the Program for Former Slave and Forced Laborers on the implementation of heirs and appeals processes, and headed up the integration of three German state Holocaust compensation programs. In addition, Clare’s time at FRA saw her design and manage the UNISON member part-time pension claims evaluation process, draft the business rules and create the relational database for validation and valuation of Support Equal Pay claims, introduce the response process for the BA/Virgin Air Passenger price-fixing litigation and head up the team providing data analysis support in UK and Dutch air cargo cartel claims. She was also responsible for the post-settlement administration of the Parker ITR Worldwide Settlement in the marine hose antitrust case, provided consultancy advice in the Converium and Vivendi Dutch shareholder class action settlements and was invited by the International Criminal Court in the Hague to join their working group on the participation of victims in proceedings related to international genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.
Since setting up Case Pilots five and a half years ago, Clare has developed a team of multi-disciplined experts who, these days, find themselves working on numerous collective actions in the UK and across Europe – including multiple bookbuild and litigation support projects for opt in claims, and being appointed as claims administrator by Class Representatives in opt out actions related to BT overcharges, the maritime car carriers cartel, ComparetheMarket’s alleged unlawful contract clauses in relation to home insurance policies and the impact on energy prices caused by the power cables cartel. With plenty more on the horizon, Case Pilots has no intention of stopping there!
But for Clare, there are so many goals she is yet to achieve. “I am incredibly proud of the growth of Case Pilots to date, the work we do and what we have achieved– but I also have so many ideas in the pipeline,” she explains. “The beauty of working in an alternative services industry is the ability to identify gaps in the market or room for improvement and know that you have the ability to do something about it. If I were asked about immediate goals, increasing our presence in Europe is certainly high on the list.”
For the pioneering leader, one of the most significant achievements of the company to date has been the fact that Case Pilots has now been appointed as claims administrator on a number of collective actions in the UK, following tenders that included other claims administrators, demonstrating how the firm’s consultative approach to the administration of these cases is being well received by the legal sector. “For the future, there is still a lot of work to be done in developing the collective action regime here in the UK alongside the implementation of the EU Directive on Representative Actions in various European jurisdictions,” says Clare. “Based on our deep understanding of these cases, I believe Case Pilots has a lot to offer legal practitioners in this space. I am particularly excited by the prospect of being involved in some of the first ever Competition Appeal Tribunal settlements in the UK. That will be a very happy day … for me, for Case Pilots and for consumers who deserve compensation when wronged by “goliath”.”