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5 minutes on... Asset recovery advisory services

  • Asset recovery
August 10, 2020

Two out of three companies report unenforced judgments valued at $20 million or more.

Burford’s global asset tracing and corporate intelligence team works with clients to transform these judgment debts from “legal paper” into cash. The team works with clients both on a fee-for-service and funded basis. Below we take 5 minutes to discuss the advisory approach.

How does asset recovery work on a fee-for-service basis?

The fee-for-service team provides clients with asset recovery services on a consultancy basis when the client seeks recovery services but does not require funding. In this model, the client generally retains the full benefit of recovery. This approach is distinct from funded matters in which Burford provides asset recovery services in exchange for a share of the recovered proceeds.

The fee-for-service model supports clients’ legal and investigative efforts by providing actionable intelligence at any point in the legal process, regardless of whether a judgment or award has been established. This intelligence can be applied in international asset tracing, investigations and formulating and executing strategies to support counsel. Burford’s multidisciplinary team specializes in gathering intelligence, establishing legal and beneficial ownership and providing primary evidence, proving recalcitrant debtors are shielding and/or dissipating assets and assessing bars to enforcement and recoverability.

Why do clients choose asset recovery on a fee-for-service basis?

Fee-for-service provides clients with both cost and timing flexibility. The need for information is often urgent and the team works quickly to ensure clients have what they need, when they need it. The turnaround time for an investigation ranges depending on the client’s requirement—anywhere from two weeks to several months.

The team’s structures are flexible and largely depend upon the risk, complexity and duration of the case and its anticipated recovery. With an hourly rate as the fee foundation, costs can be capped or phased depending on the scope of the project. The team will also consider entering into partially contingent arrangements that align interest.

What types of asset recovery needs are well served by a fee-for-service approach?

Complex global investigations, including white collar crime and fraud, constitute the majority of fee-for-service cases. Clients range from law firms, multinational companies to state and government agencies.

Previous case profiles

  • Assisted a Middle Eastern energy company in the recovery of a multi-billion-dollar arbitration award against a Middle Eastern sovereign. Identified significant international asset profile and provided detailed insight on commercial leverage to assist effective settlement.
  • Assisted the English legal advisers to a sovereign wealth fund after it lost over £20 million to fraudulent investment advisers. Gathered evidence in preparation for an English high court litigation about the key individuals and entities involved, how the fraud was perpetrated and where funds were transferred.
  • Conducted in-depth concurrent investigations into multiple defendants involved in high-profile US fraud litigation on behalf of a billion-dollar hedge fund. Assisted New York counsel in untangling fund-flows, identifying key witnesses and understanding offshore ownership structures.