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An introduction to Burford Capital

January 24, 2024
Christopher Bogart


Burford's CEO Christopher Bogart answers 10 professional questions about Burford's business. A full transcript can be found below.

What motivated you to co-found Burford?

There's just an enormous need for capital in the legal world because law firms can't access capital on their own. And so, you had a mismatch of business models. Law firms wanted to be paid by in cash. Corporate clients didn't want to pay that cash, and there was a real opportunity to bridge that divide.

Did you create litigation finance?

I think what we did when we founded Burford is we took an idea that was in practice only at a small or hobby style level, and we turned it into an institutional quality product.

What do you consider your biggest success?

I think the growth that we've experienced and the fact that we've taken a very esoteric concept and turned it into something that is ubiquitous and mainstream in a very large global market.

What do you consider your greatest failure?

Probably not being confident enough in the early stages of this business about its potential and therefore not structuring it for growth and not devoting the resources to growing it more rapidly.

Why should investors pay attention to Burford?

Well, you get four things when you buy Burford today. You get a big portfolio of existing litigation assets that we have shown over time that we can generate high cash returns from. You get an origination engine, we have a long history of producing hundreds of millions of dollars every year of new such high returning investments. You get the industry's largest fund manager generating management and performance fees, and you get effectively a free call option on the YPF litigation, which has the potential to generate billions of dollars of damages.

What legacy do you hope to one day leave Burford with?

Well, when you think about where I think this business will continue to grow, it's transforming the way the legal industry operates, and that's really, I think, the legacy that Jon and I have in our minds for it. We started this when using capital in the legal industry was simply not done, and today it is done on a multi-billion dollar level, and that is growing every year. So that transformation of the legal industry into a capital user, I think is our fundamental legacy.

What is your long-term aspiration for Burford?

So this company has the potential to continue to grow along with a growth in demand for this service. And so that's global. That's across product lines and that's in sheer scale. We've got the market opportunity here to continue to follow what has been a very significant trend over the last decade.