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5 minutes on... Year-end fee acceleration

  • Patrick Wackerly
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Patrick Wackerly

Patrick Wackerly


Former Senior Associate, Sidley Austin

As the year comes to a close, law firm lawyers face their least favorite annual stressor: End of-year collection from slow-to-pay clients. Unfortunately, delays are plenty.

Although the bulk of this burden rests on the shoulders of hourly fee firms, no lawyer is immune from the pressure to collect as much revenue as possible before December 31. Meanwhile, clients face their own internal pressures and—in what remains a buyer’s market for legal services—maintain the upper hand. Late payments, disputed bills and expected discounts follow. The process is stressful and can strain firm-client relationships. Burford offers an alternative option that provides relief for both parties: Year-end fee acceleration. Below, we take five minutes to explore how firms can use year-end fee acceleration.

What is fee acceleration?

Fee acceleration maximizes end-of year profits and preserves valuable client relationships. Burford purchases a portion of a firm’s outstanding receivables at a small discount, enabling firms to convert client receivables to cash, for all types of fee-based work.

How does fee acceleration help firms? 

For law firms, there are four key benefits of year-end fee acceleration:

  • Preserve client relationships: The firm’s collection process is not disrupted, and lawyers avoid pushing valuable clients for payment.
  • Recognize revenue immediately: With Burford’s financing, the firm can recognize revenue without taking on debt.
  • Skip the discounts: Burford’s capital is generally cheaper than the discounts offered to clients in exchange for payment.
  • Non-recourse financing agreement: The firm will not have to repay Burford if the client fails to pay.

Choosing fee acceleration preserves the firm’s bottom line and client relationships, and it allows lawyers spend their time being lawyers—not bill collectors.


As the books close, firms can eliminate the common frustrations—delayed payments, damaged client relationships and lower profits—that often come with the collection process with fee acceleration. Fee acceleration is a streamlined solution offered by Burford that alleviates the unnecessary frustrations of collection and counsel payment.