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Looking at the next decade of legal finance with... Kelly Daley

Burford recently celebrated its first decade in business. As we look ahead to the next decade, we've asked a group of relatively new Burford employees to share their perspective on our ten-year milestone and how they think the industry will grow and evolve.

Kelly Daley is a Vice President of Burford’s underwriting and investment arm.

Demand for claim monetization has been on the rise. Why, and how is monetization different from fees and expense funding?

In many ways, monetization is the purest articulation of Burford’s guiding principal, which is that legal claims are assets. Historically, businesses have used all kinds of assets to secure immediate capital—like real estate and accounts receivable. Monetizing a litigation claim is a logical extension of that same principal. And like any other asset, monetizing a legal asset frees up capital for any ordinary business purpose. Unlike a more traditional litigation finance arrangement where Burford’s capital is earmarked to offset the expense of litigation, capital from monetizing a claim can be used for any number of purposes, such as hiring new employees, building out new offices, offsetting the cost of defense-side litigation or increasing annual revenues.

What legal finance trends do you see in Burford’s second decade?

As legal finance moves to the mainstream, our counterparties are increasingly sophisticated and savvy about the ways in which legal finance can benefit their firms and companies. Whereas parties used to come to us when they had a specific piece of litigation that they wanted to fund, I now often find myself talking to law firm CFOs or large corporate GCs about the counterparty’s bigger picture business objectives and how legal finance can be part of a more holistic capital solution. We are now more like the bank for a particular asset class, and that gives us a greater ability to really know and help our counterparties.