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Burford Capital provides update on Coronavirus impact

March 12, 2020

Burford Capital Limited (“Burford Capital” or “Burford” or “the Company”), the leading global finance and investment management firm focused on law, today releases the following announcement about its approach to the coronavirus outbreak and the timing of the disclosure of its fiscal year 2019 results.

Burford has closed its New York office in response to the coronavirus outbreak following a number of locally relevant data points.  Both the Governor of New York and the Mayor of New York City have asked businesses to have employees work remotely, and we along with a number of our law firm clients are doing so.  The US National Guard has been dispatched to a New York City suburb to contain an outbreak traced to a midtown Manhattan lawyer; one of Burford’s executives’ brothers is under quarantine due to that outbreak.  Major US universities in our region, including Columbia, Harvard and Yale, have moved their spring terms online and asked students not to return to campus.  Google, Facebook and Amazon have asked their New York employees to work remotely.  Prudence suggests that we follow suit.

Virus notwithstanding, we remain open for business, signing two term sheets for new investments just yesterday and operating a standard full-capacity Commitment Committee calendar.  Courts remain generally operational, and where delays occur, Burford often benefits economically from them.  Burford is a global and geographically dispersed business built with remote operations in mind.  All of our information systems are cloud-based.  Our client base of lawyers is especially capable of working virtually and we are confident in our ability to keep engaging them.  We do not believe that these disruptions will have any material negative impact on our business, and indeed we expect a heightened level of engagement as firms and their clients head into a potential downturn and also come to grips with the economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus.  In addition, our management team is geographically dispersed and will remain so, mitigating any local impacts.

However, current events together with the closure of our New York office will inevitably take a toll on our finance and in-house legal teams whose work is collaborative.  To illustrate the scale of US disruption, the Securities and Exchange Commission has extended issuer disclosure filing deadlines in this period by 45 days.  Our finance team is predominantly based in our New York office.  Moreover, we also have two employees key to our results process who have had to self-isolate at home.  We also have third-party dependencies, ranging from auditors to printers to graphic designers, who are also affected by the coronavirus.

Thus, we anticipate a delay in the release of our fiscal year 2019 results.  At present, we anticipate that delay to be two or three weeks, and we will announce a firm date for our results as soon as we are able; as things stand presently, we certainly do not expect the delay to extend beyond Easter.  We are also not offering an in-person investor roadshow this year.  The progress we have made to date in our year-end process affirms our view that we expect to release financial statements that are consistent with the guidance provided in our 3 February 2020 trading update.  Given the present extraordinary market conditions, we also remind investors of our liquidity policy.  Irrespective of the market or economic cycle, Burford has historically maintained a significant amount of liquidity in the form of cash on its balance sheet and that continues to be the case today.

Christopher Bogart, Burford’s CEO, commented:

“We regret the delay in the release of our 2019 results, but these are unprecedented circumstances and the health and safety of our team is our first priority.  This is a rapidly evolving situation.  Burford is acting on strong medical advice and following the lead of a number of other respected firms.” 

For further information, please contact:

Burford Capital Limited


Jim Kilman, Chief Financial Officer

+1 917 985 9840

Robert Bailhache, Head of Investor Relations - email

+44 (0)20 3530 2023

Macquarie Capital (Europe) Limited - NOMAD and Joint Broker

+44 (0)20 3037 2000

Jonny Allison
Alex Reynolds


Jefferies International Limited - Joint Broker

+44 (0)20 7029 8000

Graham Davidson
Tony White


Numis Securities Limited - Joint Broker

+44 (0)20 7260 1000

Charlie Farquhar
Jonathan Abbott



About Burford Capital

Burford Capital is the leading global finance and investment management firm focused on law. Its businesses include litigation finance and risk management, asset recovery and a wide range of legal finance and advisory activities. Burford is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange, and it works with law firms and clients around the world from its principal offices in New York, London, Chicago, Washington, Singapore and Sydney.

For more information about Burford: www.burfordcapital.com.

This release does not constitute an offer of any Burford fund. Burford Capital Investment Management LLC ("BCIM"), which acts as the fund manager of all Burford funds, is registered as an investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The information contained herein is not, and should not be construed as, an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities (including, without limitation, interests or shares in the funds). Any such offer or solicitation may be made only by means of a final confidential Private Placement Memorandum and other offering documents.