A tool to promote diversity in law

The Equity Project is an award-winning initiative to improve diversity in the business of law by providing an economic incentive for change in leadership in commercial litigation and arbitration.

Since launching The Equity Project in 2018, Burford has committed a cumulative $145 million to finance commercial litigation and arbitration led by women and racially diverse attorneys. 

The Equity Project gives legal departments and law firms a tool to support change:

  • FTSE350 companies can incentivise law firms to put women or racially diverse litigators or arbitration lawyers on their matters and ensure the lawyers working on their matters are being awarded adequate origination credit.
  • Law firms committed to gender and racial diversity can encourage women and racially diverse litigators to take on matters that require significant investment but offer substantial success fees.

Improving diversity in the legal profession

Meeting ESG and DEI goals with The Equity Project

Aviva Will discusses economic incentives for diversity on Talks On Law

Paying it forward 

When Equity Project investments resolve successfully and generate expected returns, Burford will contribute some of our proceeds to a charitable organisation focused on advancing women and racially diverse lawyers on behalf of our client—so companies and law firms using Equity Project capital can feel doubly good about their impact. 

Equity Project financing criteria

Matters that meet Burford’s investment criteria qualify for Equity Project financing if one of the following criteria apply:

  1. A female or racially diverse litigator serves as first or second chair
  2. The firm representing the client is a woman- or minority-owned law firm (more than 50% of the equity is owned by female or racially diverse lawyers)
  3. A female or racially diverse litigator receives origination credit for the matter or the client relationship
  4. A female or racially diverse partner serves as chair of the claimants’ steering committee or as claimants’ lead counsel
  5. A female or racially diverse barrister is leading the advocacy on the matter

See how one of Burford's clients was able to secure Equity Project capital to promote diversity initiatives while improving business outcomes. 

"Thank you so much for trusting us (and me, in particular) to lead this case as part of Burford’s Equity Project. The people at Burford have had an enormous and positive impact in my career, and particularly in providing many of the opportunities I have had to do incredible work. Burford’s commitment to the Equity Project and the principles behind it truly mean a lot to me personally, and so I am honoured to be leading a case that is part of the Project.”

- Equity Project capital recipient

“The Equity Project may prompt us to ask additional questions of our outside counsel. Now that we are aware of it, it could change the way we approach litigation."

- Associate General Counsel, Public Chemical Engineering company

Equity Project Champions*

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

Adriana Riviere-Badell

Attorney, Kobre & Kim

Alexandra Rose

Partner, Clayton Utz

Amy Frey

Partner, McDermott, Will & Emery

Brenda Horrigan

International Arbitrator

Caren Ulrich Stacy

Founder & CEO, Diversity Lab

Carolyn Lamm

Partner, White & Case

Daniel Winterfeldt MBE KC (Hon)

Founder & Chair, Interlaw Diversity Forum; Managing Director & General Counsel - EMEA & Asia, Jefferies

Elizabeth Brannen

Managing Partner & Chair of Intellectual Property Litigation, Stris & Maher

Faith Gay

Founding Partner, Selendy & Gay

Jonathan Goldin

General Counsel, Pearl Health

The Hon. Katherine B. Forrest

Partner, Paul Weiss

Keith J. Harrison

Partner and Co-Chair, Litigation, Crowell & Moring

Maria Ginzburg

Partner, Selendy & Gay

Maria Eugenia Ramirez

Partner, Hogan Lovells

Megan E. Jones

Partner, Hausfeld

Mylan Denerstein

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

Dr. Nadine Herrmann (In Memoriam)

Managing Partner and Chair, EU and German Competition Law Practice, Quinn Emanuel

Nicole D. Galli

Founder, Women Owned Law, and Managing Member, ND Galli Law LLC

Noradèle Radjai

Partner, Lalive

Roberta D. Liebenberg

Senior Partner, Fine, Kaplan & Black

Rufus Caine III

Co-Founder & Partner, DEI Strategic Advisory Firm

Sophie Nappert

International Arbitrator, Co-Founder, ArbTech

Stephanie L. Carman

Shareholder, GrayRobinson

Sue Prevezer KC

International Arbitrator, Mediator and Consultant, Brick Court Chambers

Susanne Schwalb

Partner, CMS

Tara Lee

Partner, White & Case

Veta T. Richardson

President & CEO, Association of Corporate Counsel

Wendy J. Miles KC

Barrister, Twenty Essex

*List in formation. Current as of 25 April 2023.

Contact our team

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

Read Aviva Will's Profile
Aviva Will

Aviva Will

Co-Chief Operating Officer

Read Christiane Deniger's Profile
Christiane Deniger

Christiane Deniger

Senior Vice President

Read Victoria Fox's Profile
Victoria Fox

Victoria Fox

Vice President

Read Emily Tillett's Profile
Emily Tillett

Emily Tillett

Vice President