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Expanding a firm’s contingency practice, without exceeding its risk tolerance

  • Portfolio finance


AmLaw 20 law firm
$100 million
Commercial litigation & arbitration
Portfolio finance

A group of top litigators at an AmLaw 20 firm wanted to expand the firm’s contingency fee practice for very high value commercial litigations, but its broader partnership did not want to be exposed to significant risk. The litigators knew legal finance offered a potential solution but wanted a long-term funding partner to avoid the time-consuming process of finding funding for cases individually.


Burford committed $100 million to fund commercial litigation and arbitration matters on pre-agreed terms, anchored by a significant international arbitration for which Burford committed nearly $20 million. In addition to the anchor arbitration, Burford and the firm will build the portfolio over time as the lawyers add new matters that they take on a contingency until Burford has committed $100 million cumulatively across all of the cases in the portfolio.

For each case in the portfolio, Burford will fund a portion of the firm’s hourly fees and 100% of out-of-pocket expenses and will receive a return from the law firm’s contingency fee recoveries upon successful resolution of the cases. 


Burford found a creative solution for a law firm partnership to structure deals on contingency without taking on additional risk; the practice will be able to grow with a focus on high value commercial litigation and arbitration matters, pursuing new business and investing in growth in ways unable to do so before.