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Forbes dissects how legal finance is transforming law

Mark Cohen, writing for Forbes, posits that capital flowing into the legal industry is beginning to redefine the business of law. He asserts that, as companies seek to innovate the way legal work is done, they are redefining the parameters of that work. In response to changing demand, non-law firm legal service providers are entering the market and bringing outside capital with them. He cites Burford as an example: “Burford Capital, a litigation finance company, is putting $3B of capital to work and quietly transforming corporate litigation from liability to asset class. Burford, a publicly traded company in the UK, is now valued north of $4.5B—not bad for a company that launched less than a decade ago.” He also quotes Burford Managing Director David Perla:

“Over the past few decades, the legal industry has learned to use technology, process and project management and offshore resources to improve the way legal professionals serve clients and solve client problems. In many respects, the profession has adapted around these new tools, to the benefit of providers and clients alike.  Yet as a result of a number of factors — including the equity structure of law firms, the difficulty in measuring and quantifying legal risk, and the ability of underwriters to understand both finance and law — law had previously seemed immune to using capital as a force for positive change. That is changing fast, as capital is applied to litigation and a growing array of other areas of the law.”

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