In October 2018, Burford launched The Equity Project, an initiative designed to help close the gender gap in law and to provide an economic incentive for much-needed change by earmarking $50 million for financing matters led by women.
The response to The Equity Project since launch has been gratifying in numerous ways.
First and foremost, it’s clear that there is demand for capital to incentivize change. As of the date of this publication, the matters currently being reviewed for Equity Project funding represent an aggregate of $35 million in legal fees, against the initial pool of $50 million. Although we are unlikely to fund all the matters in our pipeline, we’re pleased to see this significant interest in leveraging The Equity Project capital.
Additionally, we have been honored to be joined in this effort by a growing group of Equity Project Champions. Since October, our list of Champions has expanded to well over 20 women and men from leading law firms and corporations in the US, UK, France, Switzerland, Germany and Australia. Our Champions are helping us bring attention to the problem and ensure that women lawyers are aware of the capital available (the full and updated list can be found here).
Finally, The Equity Project has sparked robust dialogue at events and in the media. Most recently, I contributed a column in the New York Law Journal following the release of data demonstrating that the gender pay gap at US law firms has actually gotten worse in the last two years. This growing gap is frustrating in the extreme—and a reminder of why we need incentives like The Equity Project.
In addition to the immediate requests for funding from well-known and well-respected general practice firms and litigation specialty firms, we have received scores of requests for presentations. We welcome these opportunities to meet with law firm and in-house teams interested in hearing more, and I encourage you to contact us with your questions about how to leverage The Equity Project.