The Equity Project

Providing an economic incentive to help close the gender gap in law

The gender pay gap

Women are significantly underrepresented at the senior-most ranks of law firms and earn less than their male peers.

There’s no shortage of diversity and inclusion programs, but at the current rate of change women lawyers won’t approach equity for at least a generation.

To create real change, the economics of law must change.

A pragmatic solution

The Equity Project is a groundbreaking initiative designed to close the gender gap in law by providing an economic incentive for change through an initial $50 million capital pool earmarked for financing commercial litigation and arbitration matters led by women.

This includes matters where a woman lawyer is first chair; serves as lead counsel; chairs the steering committee; earns the origination credit; is the client relationship manager; or a women-owned law firm is representing the client.

With capital from The Equity Project, women can:

  • Pitch clients with attractive alternative fee arrangements—and a built-in competitive edge
  • Pursue leadership positions in significant matters
  • Persuade firm contingency fee committees to take on matters that require significant investment but offer substantial success fees
  • Ease pathways towards origination and client relationship credit
  • Demonstrate innovation and ambition to land new clients and serve them well
  • In-house lawyers can use litigation finance to showcase her financial savvy and leadership ability by meeting recovery targets without cost or risk to the business

As of December 31, 2020, we have surpassed this goal—with nearly $57 million committed to back women as a result of The Equity Project. In the year ahead we look forward to expanding our impact and to being still more ambitious in how we use our expertise and capital to provide economic solutions to big, seemingly intractable problems like the gender gap in law. 


Equity Project Champions*

Alexandra Rose
Clayton Utz

Amy Frey
King & Spalding

Brenda Horrigan
Independent arbitrator

Caren Ulrich Stacy
Founder & CEO
Diversity Lab & OnRamp Fellowship

Carolyn Lamm
White & Case

Domitille Baizeau

Dr. Nadine Herrmann
Managing Partner and Chair, EU and German Competition Law Practice
Quinn Emanuel

Faith Gay
Founding Partner
Selendy & Gay

Jonathan Goldin
General Counsel
Goldin Associates

Maria Ginzburg
Selendy & Gay

Megan E. Jones

Mylan Denerstein
Co-Chair, Public Policy Practice Group
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Nicole D. Galli
Managing Member
 N.D. Galli Law LLC

Noradèle Radjai

Roberta D. Liebenberg
Senior Partner
Fine, Kaplan & Black

Sophie J. Lamb QC
Global Co-Chair, International Arbitration Practice
Latham & Watkins

Sophie Nappert
International arbitrator,
Moderator, OGEMID

Stephanie L. Carman

Sue Prevezer QC
International arbitrator, mediator and consultant
Brick Court Chambers

Tara Lee
White & Case

The Honorable Katherine B. Forrest
Cravath, Swaine & Moore

Wendy J. Miles QC
Twenty Essex

*List in formation. Current as of 31 March 2021.


To stay up-to-date on Equity Project news, please join our LinkedIn group

Contact our team

Learn more about Burford's groundbreaking initiative and Burford's commitment to promoting equity in law.

Read Christine Azar's Profile
Christine Azar

Christine Azar


Read Elizabeth Fisher's Profile
Elizabeth Fisher

Elizabeth Fisher

Senior Vice President

Read Aviva Will's Profile
Aviva Will

Aviva Will

Co-Chief Operating Officer