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Burford Capital’s industry-leading legal finance team continues to grow

November 23, 2021

New hires in New York, Washington and Chicago; expanded presence in DACH region

New York City, November 30, 2021 – Burford Capital, the leading global finance and asset management firm focused on law, today announces it is further enhancing its industry-leading team and legal finance offerings to clients. In addition to new hires in New York, Washington and Chicago, Senior Vice President Dr. Jörn Eschment has relocated to Switzerland to oversee the growth of Burford’s substantial business in the DACH region of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Christopher Bogart, CEO of Burford Capital, said: “As the industry leader with a $4.8 billion portfolio, we continue to build Burford’s team to meet the needs of our clients and the continuing growth of our business.

“At Burford, we place significant emphasis on a collaborative culture, with strong intellectual and interpersonal dynamics at the heart of our organization. As we add experts to our team, we look for intelligent, thoughtful and creative individuals who always try to expand upon what is possible—which we believe we have found with each of these new additions.

“We are pleased to announce these new hires and Jörn’s move to the DACH region, which continue to amplify our position as the gold standard in commercial legal finance.”

The composition of Burford’s global team of over 140 employees – 66 of whom are lawyers – reflects its category leadership as well as its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, as half of Burford’s team are women, racial minorities or self-identify as LGBTQ.

Further growth of Burford’s industry-leading investment team

  • Apoorva Patel has joined Burford in Washington, DC, as a Vice President with a focus on assessing legal risk in international arbitration, a topic about which he writes and speaks regularly as a leader in several global and national lawyers’ organizations focused on international dispute resolution. Prior to joining Burford, he was most recently Counsel in WilmerHale’s international arbitration and international litigation practices. Patel graduated from Harvard Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Negotiation Law Review. He earned his bachelor’s degree in public policy from Duke University, where he graduated magna cum laude.
  • Gabriela Bersuder has joined Burford in New York as a Vice President. She previously practiced as a litigator at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, where she represented Fortune 500 companies, food and beverage manufacturers and large corporations in complex commercial litigations, arbitrations and mediations. She clerked for the Honorable John G. Koeltl (Southern District of New York) and Honorable Christopher F. Droney (Second Circuit). Ms. Bersuder earned her law degree from Duke University School of Law and her bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University. 

  • Peter McLaughlin has joined Burford in Chicago as a Vice President. Prior to Burford, he was a litigator at Sidley Austin, where he specialized in conducting investigations related to securities and healthcare regulation and served as counsel for jury trials, bankruptcy proceedings and arbitration hearings. He clerked for the Honorable James B. Zagel of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Prior to earning a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law, he was a trading analyst at Credit Suisse. Mr. McLaughlin is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Dedicated staff to pursue business opportunities in DACH region

  • Jörn Eschment, Senior Vice President, has relocated to Zug, Switzerland, to oversee the growth of Burford’s substantial business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Prior to joining Burford’s investment team in London in 2018, he practiced international commercial arbitration and litigation at Herbert Smith Freehills in Hong Kong and at Schellenberg Wittmer in Zurich. Dr. Eschment read law at the universities of Freiburg, Liverpool, Marburg and Passau, graduating with the German Staatsexamen, an LLM in European law and a doctorate in public international law, all with distinction. He also holds a master’s from the War Studies Department at King’s College London.

Additional talent augments new business origination team

  • Bill Walker has joined Burford in Washington, DC, as a Director, building on a career spanning consulting, in-house and law firm roles. Most recently he expanded Deloitte’s law-focused business development efforts with key clients at Fortune 500 companies, publicly traded middle-market companies and law firms. Previously he founded Ansun Management Partners, a boutique professional services firm, was a corporate attorney specializing in complex corporate transactions at several large multi-national law firms and was an in-house lawyer at the American Red Cross. Mr. Walker earned his JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he served as articles editor of the Connecticut Journal of International Law, and his bachelor’s in economics from College of the Holy Cross.

Global organization strengthened with top talent across business functions

  • Chermia S. Hoeffner has joined Burford as Vice President, Human Resources. Prior to joining Burford, she was Head of Human Resources at the National Audubon Society, where she led the human resources team, implemented organization-level job architecture and developed policies, procedures and initiatives crucial to the overall strategy at Audubon. Hoeffner has also worked in human resources roles at TIAA-CREF, Mercer and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. She has over two decades of experience managing a broad range of HR functions at global organizations. Ms. Hoeffner graduated with an MBA in management from Pace University and a bachelor’s in English from SUNY-Albany.

  • David Helfenbein has joined Burford as Vice President, Public Relations. He has over a decade of experience in litigation and legal communication, crisis management, public affairs, government relations and public policy. Prior to joining Burford, he worked as an Associate Director at Finsbury Glover Hering and held senior roles at several public relations firms and branding agencies. He began his career working in the US Senate, followed by the US Department of State. Mr. Helfenbein earned his law degree from the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis and his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Ilya Podolskiy, CPA, CGMA, CRMA, Cr. FAC, has joined Burford as Vice President, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance. Mr. Podolskiy has over a decade of experience implementing audit and SOX strategies. He was previously a SOX Manager for Sirius Group and for Assured Guaranty. Prior to that, Mr. Podolskiy held roles with internal audit functions including Senior Internal Auditor for American International Group (AIG) and Tokyo Marine North American Services (TMNAS). Mr. Podolskiy earned his bachelor’s in accounting from CUNY Hunter College and his master’s in taxation from Villanova School of Law.

  • Phillip Lu has joined as Head of Burford’s Project Management Office, with responsibility for Burford’s program/project management, business analysis and strategic planning capabilities. He was previously a Director at KPMG, where he evaluated and developed new digital and data strategies, technologies and business models; he also served as a Senior Manager at EY. Mr. Lu began his career as a management consultant and held technology strategy and project management roles at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. He earned his bachelor’s in economics from New York University.


David Helfenbein
Vice President, Public Relations
[email protected], +1 212 235 6824

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

This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any ordinary shares or other securities of Burford.