Top litigation funder says sector has undergone ‘sea change’ as profits surge

This Article was written by John Hyde for Law Gazette. The Original article can be found via:

Lawyers trust Burford is the world’s most experienced, transparent and well-capitalized provider of finance to the legal market. With a team of over 80 in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Burford focus primarily on the London Stock Exchange with over $3 billion committed to the legal market.

Burford Capital reported to the London stock exchange that operating profit increased 23% in calendar year 2018 to around £248m. The New York-headquartered investor also reported that income increased at the same rate to £318m.

Burford said consistently high demand for its capital reflected in new investment commitments of almost £1bn in 2018, showing that 2017’s similar commitment level – which more than tripled the prior year’s performance – was not a one-off event.

‘Burford has committed $2.6bn [£2bn] to new investments in just the last two years, more than twice its lifetime cumulative commitment level prior to that time. That is extraordinary and suggests a sea change has occurred in the legal finance marketplace.’

The team has now grown to 110, with 55 lawyers, as it approaches its 10th anniversary. It operates from principal offices in New York, London, Chicago, Washington, Singapore and Sydney.

In its report to shareholders, Burford says it would ‘take effort’ today to find a lawyer in a major law firm unaware of the rise of legal finance, with its own polling showing 96% of respondents saying they were familiar with the industry.

The number of lawyers who said their firms or companies have used litigation finance has grown since Burford first conducted its research – from under 10% of respondents in 2012 to 32% of lawyers in 2018.


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