Burford provides a broad range of finance solutions to law firms and clients engaged in significant commercial litigation and arbitration, as well as other capital solutions and services to the legal market. For example, we:
We work with leading law firms and companies worldwide, including 75% of the AmLaw 100 and Fortune and FTSE 100 companies. We finance both claimants and defendants.
At its core, litigation finance uses the asset value of commercial litigation or arbitration to secure financing. It can be used by clients or law firms, and for both claimant and defendant matters.
When used to pay litigation costs, litigation finance is often called “litigation funding” or “case funding”. Burford happily offers litigation funding to clients, although much of Burford’s business involves more than case funding where we use the value of legal assets to design innovative financing for clients that go well beyond conventional litigation funding.
Fundamentally, we look at legal receivables – whether arising from pending claims, resolved claims or law firm activity – as financeable assets. We use the value of those receivables to craft financial solutions for single commercial matters, portfolios of matters or bespoke vehicles.
In assessing legal receivables, we seek out meritorious commercial litigation and arbitration with high quality counsel. We consider risk profile, likely duration and other factors, including a balance of cost to damages that will provide return on our capital investment and satisfactory compensation for the claimant.
It would be unusual for us to invest less than $2 million in a single matter, and our average investment is more than $12 million. This is the amount of capital we are investing, not the size of the total case damages, which thus need to be considerably larger. There is no upper limit on the amount we are able to invest; we have committed $100 million in one investment.
At any stage in the litigation cycle. We’ve made investments at a case’s commencement, pre-trial, pre-appeal, and post-judgment.
Our capital is almost always non-recourse—meaning that we do not earn an investment return if the underlying litigation is unsuccessful.
Companies and law firms diligencing capital providers value Burford because:
We have more experience and expertise: We’ve built the largest and most experienced team in the business. We’re veterans of top firms such as Cravath, Latham, Debevoise, Freshfields and Cleary. Our perspective and process add value beyond the capital we provide. We do all of our diligence in-house.
We have more of our own capital: Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange, Burford is well past the billion-dollar mark. We have our own, permanent capital, without the limitations applicable to private funds of investment periods, investment restrictions, the need to call capital and the need to return capital to investors.
We are more innovative: We develop strategic solutions to help law firms and clients unlock the asset value of litigation and transform how they finance legal costs and risk. We’ve pioneered litigation portfolio financing and excel at funding the most complex commercial litigation.
We are trusted and transparent: We’re publicly traded with investors like Invesco and Fidelity. Our money is our own—we don’t have to go and get it from someone else. We consistently get repeat business as well as business from clients and firms who started with the competition and decided to work with Burford.
Yes. We don’t get any rights to manage the litigation in which we invest, unless a client sells us a judgment or engages us specifically to manage as well as finance litigation. Just as a leasing company does not tell you how to drive your car, we don’t drive the litigation. Nor do we get any rights to control the settlement of the litigation, which remains wholly in the litigant’s control. And the courts have been clear about the legality of this business.
Our passive role as an outside investor does not in any way alter attorney-client relationships or put work product at risk. The policy underlying the work product doctrine and court decisions that have thoroughly considered the matter – many of which we litigated – consistently permit litigation financiers to access work product without any waiver of work product protection.
No. We are not a provider of personal or individual finance. If you wish to seek personal financing, consult with your attorney.
We are extraordinarily flexible and approach every investment with terms tailored to meet clients’ needs. Our individually negotiated investment transactions often entitle us to the return of our invested capital, a minimum return on that capital, and a portion of the total proceeds of the litigation. We use other structures, too, especially for investments where the litigation is well advanced. For example, we will make investments based on existing judgments where we seek a fixed return on our capital as opposed to a portion of the ultimate recovery. For law firms, we can provide financing on a fixed return basis.
Our capital is expensive, with Burford’s overall financial return expectations consistent with private equity and venture capital funds, not commercial banks.
Yes. Burford has committed over a billion dollars to commercial litigation and arbitration. Other litigation finance providers may have to go to market to raise capital for each opportunity they consider, which takes time. Burford makes its own investment decisions and can provide funds as soon as an agreement is in place.
We make our own decisions, internally.
Doing our own diligence is core to our business model. Our experienced team of litigators and trial lawyers has tried cases and managed massive corporate litigation portfolios. Our Investment Committee alone has more than 300 collective years of commercial litigation experience.
We are publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. We release regular and extensive financial and investment information, all of which can be found in the Investor Relations section of this website. We’re audited by Ernst & Young.