Burford has launched an initiative to help close the gender gap in law.
An over $800 billion annual industry globally, law presents significant gender-based inequities. For example, Major, Lindsey & Africa found that women partners at London law firms earn 24% less than men. According to the ABA, just 19% of equity partners at US law firms are women, and women are significantly underrepresented in leadership positions in law firms and in first chair roles in litigation and on international arbitral tribunals.
Gender diversity is not simply about fairness—it’s about business outcomes. According to McKinsey, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to have superior value creation.
A pragmatic business solution
The Equity Project is a groundbreaking initiative designed to help close the gender gap in law by providing an economic incentive for change through a $50 million pool of capital earmarked for financing commercial litigation and international arbitration matters led by women.
We want to use our assets—our decade of experience, sizable capital and skilled team—to help balance the scale and promote women in law.
With capital from The Equity Project:
- Women litigators, women arbitrators and women-owned firms can pitch clients knowing that they can offer attractive alternative fee arrangements
- Law firms committed to gender diversity can share risk with Burford and encourage women litigators and arbitrators to pitch client-friendly alternative billing arrangements to their management committees for new business
- Women can pursue leadership positions in significant matters and ease pathways towards origination and client relationship credit with a competitive edge for them and their firms
Thank you to our Equity Project Champions*
King & Spalding
Head of International Arbitration
Herbert Smith Freehills
Caren Ulrich Stacy
Founder & CEO
Diversity Lab & OnRamp Fellowship
White & Case
Dr. Nadine Herrmann
Managing Partner and Chair, EU and German Competition Law Practice
Selendy & Gay
Selendy & Gay
Megan E. Jones
Co-Chair, Public Policy Practice Group
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Nicole D. Galli
Law Offices of N.D. Galli
Roberta D. Liebenberg
Fine, Kaplan & Black
Sophie J. Lamb QC
Global Co-Chair, International Arbitration Practice
Latham & Watkins
Sue Prevezer QC
Chair, International Trial Practice
Chair, Transnational Litigation Practice
The Honorable Katherine B. Forrest
Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Wendy J. Miles QC
Debevoise & Plimpton
*List in formation. Current as of 14 January 2019.
How it works
The Equity Project provides an incentive for change by providing a pool of capital reserved for matters led by women, including matters in which a woman litigator is first chair; a woman serves as plaintiffs’ lead counsel or chairs the plaintiffs’ steering committee; a women-owned law firm is representing the client; a woman litigator earns origination credit; or a woman partner is the client relationship manager. Cases financed by The Equity Project must also meet Burford’s standard investment criteria.
Burford has the deepest bench in legal finance, with women in key decision-making positions—including 50 percent of top executive positions and 34 percent of leadership positions
Senior Managing Director