At its inaugural annual conference on October 24 in New York, the International Legal Finance Association (ILFA) gathered a group of senior in-house lawyers to talk about how GCs think about the economics of litigation and the role of legal finance.
“As a newly minted General Counsel ten years ago I had all these guys coming to me saying, Oh, Sandy, we can bring this case, and I'm thinking to myself, I don't know if these cases are worth anything. They’re certainly worth something to these law firms. Because they're going to get paid, right?…. You know they'll do all these presentations and show what the case is worth. I will tell you, when I'm going to my CFO and saying, I think this case is worth this, he would look at me and say, Well, that's what your lawyer thinks it's worth. What do you think it's worth? I say, well I'm an M&A guy. I don't know what it's worth at all. I couldn't tell you. But if I bring in a funder it's different. The funders are willing to put their money where their mouth is. And that has been an invaluable decision-making tool for me.… It's very powerful to have somebody who's going to put their cash in, so it's a great tool. Sometimes we say yes. Sometimes we say no. Sometimes we say we're going to do it on our own… But [the legal finance] industry has become a decision-making tool for me... It's a good thing.”
- Sandy Grimm, Chief Legal Officer, Southeastern Grocers
Chief Legal Officer of one of the largest supermarket chains in the US, Grimm reinforces how professional legal finance providers like Burford can add value for companies beyond capital by sharing their significant expertise in assessing commercial litigation.
Having reviewed hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of commercial litigation and arbitration since its founding in 2009, Burford has a significant body of data about commercial disputes that can be extremely valuable to clients. In 2021, Burford predicted returns on concluded commercial matters in its portfolio with 96% accuracy.
About the panel
The panel was moderated by Aviva Will, Co-COO of Burford Capital, the panel included Steven Greenspan, Corporate Vice President and Chief Litigation Counsel, Raytheon Technologies; Sandy Grimm, Chief Legal Officer, Southeastern Grocers; Nicholas Trutanich, Executive Vice President of Litigation, Fox Corporation; and Rishi Varma, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.