Burford’s ‘Timing’ Loss Shows Litigation Funders Need Patience

Burford Capital’s $72 million annual loss—the first in its history—shows the risk litigation funders face in growing their caseloads while the Covid-19 pandemic slowed court dockets, delaying payoffs for investors. Burford last year invested $447 million in cases, about twice the $225 million it deployed in 2020, the company said in its annual report. But with fewer cases being decided through trials and settlements, payoffs from those investments—and others made in prior years—weren’t realised. “Burford turned in an excellent 2021,” the company’s chairman, Hugh Steven Wilson, said in a March 29 statement disclosing results. “This may seem odd to say as we report the first loss in our history, but that is a matter of timing.”

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New Fundings

Burford backs class action against European power cable groups

Burford Capital is backing a claim seeking compensation for millions of electricity customers in Great Britain. Scott+Scott UK LLP is applying to the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal for approval to bring a collective action against various European power cable companies who allegedly overcharged electricity network operators for power cables, resulting in higher consumer electricity bills. Daniel Jowell QC of Brick Court Chambers has been appointed as counsel. Richard Druce of NERA Economic Consulting and industry expert Peter Bennell of Sohn Associates have been engaged to provide expert reports. Case Pilots has been appointed as claims administrator.

In the News

Quinn Emanuel Is Willing To Take On Fee Risk But Hourly Billing Still Dominates

John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel tells Christopher Bogart of Burford Capital that he doesn’t foresee U.S. law firms firms transforming into more conventional businesses any time soon, noting that while ownership and sharing of equity in law firms is is coming, like everything else in the legal profession, it’s going to take a long time.

In the News

Agenda for European Litigation Funding Conference announced

Brown Rudnick has released the agenda for its first annual European Litigation Funding Conference taking place on 17 May 2022 in London. The one-day conference has drawn big names from the international litigation funding market who will discuss topics such as opportunities and innovation in deal structuring, the rise of class actions and opportunities in Europe.

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