The Board comprises five independent non-executive Directors along with Burford’s CEO. The Directors have overall responsibility for the Company’s activities, including the review of its investment activities and performance. They have primary responsibility for determining the Company’s overall investment objectives, strategy and policies, and for implementing its investment policies.
The Board also operates through three committees composed entirely of independent directors, Audit (Parkinson (Chair), Gillespie and Sievwright), Nominations (Middleton (Chair), Gillespie and Wilson) and Remuneration (Wilson (Chair), Parkinson and Sievwright), all of which meet throughout the year as required. The Remuneration Committee reviews and approves compensation and long-term incentive plan awards for all staff. The Audit Committee plays an active role, not only in overseeing the audit process and managing non-audit services to ensure the continued independence of the auditors, but also in addressing investment valuations, an area of key judgement for the business.
The Board generally meets four times each year. The Directors bring a range of experience in public company, investment management and litigation matters. The Directors of the Company are:
The Board has adopted the Finance Sector Code of Corporate Governance issued by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. The Company is subject to the UK City Code on Takeovers and Mergers. As the Company is not incorporated in the UK, the rights of shareholders may differ from the rights of shareholders in a UK incorporated company.
Advisors to the company on US and English law
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
65 Fleet Street
London EC4Y 1HT
Computershare Investor Services (Guernsey) Limited
3rd Floor, NatWest House
St Peter Port
Guernsey GY1 1WD
Nominated advisor and joint broker
Numis Securities Limited
The London Stock Exchange Building
10 Paternoster Square
London EC4M 7LT
Administrator and company secretary
Oak Fund Services (Guernsey) Limited
PO Box 282
St Peter Port
Guernsey GY1 3RH
Jefferies International Limited
London EC2N 4JL
Ernst & Young LLP
Advisors to the company on Guernsey law
Annual General Meeting – 13 May 2020
Burford Capital Limited was admitted to trading on 21 October 2009.
Burford Capital Limited was formed and registered in the Bailiwick of Guernsey on 11 September 2009.
Burford has throughout its history adopted and complied with the Guernsey Finance Sector Code of Corporate Governance (the “Code”), and our compliance has been the subject of regular reporting to, and oversight by, the Board. A summary of Burford’s compliance aligned with the Code’s provisions includes:
- Effective Responsible Board: The Board holds an in-person meeting every quarter during which it reviews thoroughly all aspects of the businesses’ strategy and performance; the directors spend at least one evening and one full day together for each meeting, and every director attended all such meetings held in 2019 with the exception of David Lowe who missed the November 2019 meeting due to hospitalisation. Burford’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer participated in the entirety of each board meeting (other than the closed session discussed below), joined as appropriate by
other senior members of management. The Board reviews its performance and director compensation annually and regularly discusses succession planning and management oversight. The Board meets in closed session without management present at each of its meetings. The Board also operates through four committees composed entirely of independent directors, Audit (Parkinson (Chair) and Lowe), Investment (Lowe (Chair) and Parkinson), Remuneration (Wilson (Chair), Middleton, Lowe and Parkinson) and Nomination (Wilson (Chair), Middleton, Lowe and Parkinson), all of which meet throughout the year as required. The Remuneration Committee reviews and approves compensation and LTIP awards for all staff. The Audit Committee plays an active role, not only in overseeing the audit process and managing non-audit services to ensure the continued independence of the auditors, but also in addressing investment valuations, an area of key judgement for the business. Sir Peter Middleton also chairs the Board of Burford Capital Holdings (UK) Limited, a significant Burford subsidiary, to ensure non-executive oversight.
- Collective Responsibility of the Directors: Burford’s directors are experienced and collectively well-versed in the legislative and regulatory environment in which Burford operates. They are provided with relevant information in a timely manner (including a daily business update) and kept abreast of relevant information so that they can discharge their duties. The Board has overall responsibility for Burford’s governance, strategy, risk management and key policies and engages in robust scrutiny of the business and its investment portfolios. The Board regularly evaluates its own performance and discusses improvements to its structure and processes.
- Good Standards of Business Conduct, Integrity and Ethical Behaviour: The Board is subject to Burford’s various integrity policies, including with regard to conflicts of interest, self-dealing and fiduciary duties.
- Accountability for Burford’s Position and Prospects: At its in-person quarterly meetings, the Board is presented with materials so it can meaningfully assess Burford’s performance, measure the impact of the businesses’ strategy and evaluate its
position. Burford has a significant professional finance function that provides detailed management reporting and also
prepares financial statements pursuant to International Financial Reporting Standards. The Board is in regular contact
with Ernst & Young, Burford’s auditors. The Board has ultimate responsibility for Burford’s objectives and business plans.
- Board Oversight of Risk Management: As discussed in depth, the Board maintains oversight of risk by way of a comprehensive risk presentation at every quarterly Board meeting. Burford has a robust management team focused on risk, including a Chief Compliance Officer, a General Counsel and a number of other in-house lawyers. In addition dozens of the businesses’ professional staff are lawyers, including many of the businesses’ most senior managers.
- Timely and Balanced Disclosure and Reporting: The Board ensures appropriate and timely reporting pursuant to applicable obligations.
- Fair and Responsible Remuneration: The Remuneration Committee of the Board reviews and approves compensation for all employees and appointees. The Remuneration Committee is responsible for setting Burford’s remuneration policy which is consistent with effective risk management.
- Effective Shareholder Relations: The Board’s general practice is to disclose publicly adequate materials relevant to Burford’s performance whenever is necessary or practical. The Board provides the AGM as a forum for shareholders to exercise their rights as well as supervising a robust investor relations program.
Burford’s adoption of the Code is current as of the date of the release of the 2019 annual report on 28 April 2020 and is reviewed as part of the Company’s annual reporting process. There are no material departures from Burford’s obligations under the Code.
There are no material departures from Burford’s obligations under the Code.
Main country of operation
The main country of operation of the Burford group of companies is the United States.
This section of Burford’s website is intended for the use of Burford’s public investors and is required to be provided under AIM Rule 26. Burford also maintains a separate private funds business. Information presented here is not intended for the use of private fund investors, nor is it presented in the appropriate form for such investors. Moreover, Burford does not present this information as a solicitation of private fund investment, which occurs only through appropriate offering documents.