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Burford Capital continues to expand market leading team

Veterans of Freshfields, Quinn Emanuel, OppenheimerFunds and others join world’s largest provider of litigation finance

April 20, 2018 – Burford Capital, the leading global finance and investment management firm focused on law, is announcing several new appointments that enhance its capacity to originate and invest in legal finance opportunities. The new arrivals augment the world’s largest legal finance team, which now numbers more than 100 people, including almost 50 experienced lawyers:

US litigation finance

Michael Sternhell has joined Burford as a Director. Mr. Sternhell will focus on delivering legal financing solutions to the asset management industry, leveraging his experience as in-house counsel for a leading asset management firm. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President and Managing Counsel at OppenheimerFunds, where he managed a wide variety of litigation, regulatory and restructuring matters and led a team of lawyers supporting the firm’s investments and global operations functions. He was previously a litigator at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, where he defended institutions and individuals in high-profile securities class actions and regulatory investigations. Mr. Sternhell graduated from Wesleyan University and received his JD from New York University School of Law.

David Burnett has joined Burford as Vice President. Formerly Of Counsel at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, he has a decade of experience representing leading global insurance companies and financial institutions as plaintiffs in litigation related to mortgage-backed securities and CDOs. Mr. Burnett has helped institutional investors recover hundreds of millions of dollars through dozens of settlements. Mr. Burnett graduated from the University of Virginia and earned a Master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He obtained his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Both Mr. Sternhell and Mr. Burnett are based in Burford’s New York office.

International arbitration

Jeffery Commission has joined Burford as a Director, based in Washington, DC. Mr. Commission has more than 15 years of experience representing claimants in investment treaty disputes and international commercial arbitrations under ICSID, ICSID Additional Facility, ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL rules. He was previously Senior Counsel at Vannin Capital and practiced in the International Arbitration Group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London, New York and Washington, DC. Mr. Commission is co-author of Procedural Issues in International Investment Arbitration (Oxford University Press, 2018) and the forthcoming Third Party Funding in International Arbitration: Law and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2019). Mr. Commission graduated from McGill University’s Faculty of Law with degrees in common law and civil law and earned a Master of Laws degree in international dispute settlement from University College London.

Intellectual property

Emily Hostage has joined Burford’s industry leading IP team as Vice President, based in Chicago. Ms. Hostage formerly was Vice President of Strategic Analytics and Policy at RPX Corporation, a leading global provider of patent risk management services. Earlier in her career, she practiced law at Arnold & Porter, where she represented high-tech clients in patent, copyright and trade secret litigation cases. Ms. Hostage graduated from Boston University with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in electrical engineering. She obtained her JD from Harvard Law School.

European litigation finance

Based in London, Jörn Eschment has joined Burford as Vice President, further enhancing Burford’s team of native German speakers helping clients and law firms in Germany, Switzerland and Austria develop innovative legal finance solutions. He was most recently a senior member of Herbert Smith Freehills’ International Arbitration practice in Hong Kong and began his legal career in the Zurich office of Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd. Previously, he worked in the Stuttgart office of The Boston Consulting Group and interned at the German Parliament and the Foreign Relations Office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Dr. Eschment read law at the universities of Freiburg, Liverpool, Marburg and Passau, graduating with the German Staatsexamen, an LLM in European law, and a doctorate in public international law. He also holds an MA from the War Studies Department at King’s College London.

Other key business hires

Paul Mysliwiec has joined Burford as Corporate Counsel. He was previously a Corporate Partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he focused on the formation, management and operation of private equity and real estate funds. He began his career at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where he advised on mergers and acquisitions, fund formation and other corporate transactions. Mr. Mysliwiec graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University and earned his JD from the University of Chicago School of Law.

Patrick Trimble has joined Burford as Funds Controller. A Certified Public Accountant, he was most recently Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting at The Duchossois Group, a multi-billion-dollar family office.  Prior to that, he held roles at UBS O’Connor, Deloitte and PwC. Mr. Trimble graduated with a Master of Accounting from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Business, Accounting, from the University of Arizona.

Both will be based in Burford’s Chicago office.

Christopher Bogart, Burford’s CEO, commented: “Burford has earned our leadership position in legal finance by being ambitious—in setting high standards for our work and in building the team to deliver on that promise. Demand for Burford’s capital grew three-fold in 2017, and we’re delighted to be joined by new team members who can help us continue to unlock opportunity across our business.”


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