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Introduction to legal finance

Despite growing adoption of legal finance, many businesses and law firms lack important insight into the array of solutions available for managing legal cost and risk.

What are the funding options?
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Initial review

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Frequently asked questions about legal finance

Burford’s capital provision agreements explicitly state that control of litigation and arbitration decision-making remains with the client.

Burford is a passive financier and does not control the legal assets in which we invest, except in extraordinary circumstances agreed to in advance by the client.

Materials created for and provided to potential legal finance providers are protected under the work product doctrine in the US and are considered privileged materials in many other jurisdictions.

The majority of courts do not require disclosure of commercial legal finance arrangements. While rules vary by jurisdiction, those rules that do exist tend to be limited.

Burford will consider most commercial litigation and arbitration matters for financing including contract, fraud, fiduciary duty, securities, antitrust, international arbitration, business tort, intellectual property, insolvency and bankruptcy and insurance recovery claims. Regardless of claim type, monetary damages must be at stake and the case must have strong merits with a tested legal theory. Burford also values cases led by legal counsel with experience, strong track records and a clear litigation or arbitration strategy. Burford’s minimum financing threshold is about $5 million needed by the client.

Prospective clients should aim to provide a substantive memo of the claims including a thoughtful and supported early-stage estimate of damages and a detailed budget for outside counsel’s fees and costs, set to the stage of the litigation.

The time frame to secure legal finance depends on several factors. Matters with fewer unknowns (e.g., matters on appeal) require the least time; yet-to-be-filed matters require more time. Although we have financed cases in a matter of a few days, as a general rule, if cases are well worked up and information is provided in a timely fashion, commercial matters typically take about two months from initial case review to investment. International arbitration and patent matters typically require a longer diligence process.

Depending on the structure and terms of the funding agreement, financing from Burford can be used to pay lawyers’ fees and case-related expenses or as working capital for general business purposes.

After Burford makes an investment, we work with our client to monitor and track the progress of matters during the case management process. While we are passive capital providers, we can also add value to litigation and arbitration strategies post-financing should clients welcome our doing so.

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