Legal 500 has released its inaugural ranking of the leading litigation funders in the UK, with Burford, Harbour and Therium taking the top spots. Read more.
Harbour Litigation Funding has launched a new £150 million funding venture with Mishcon de Reya called MDR Solutions I. It will be used to fund litigation and arbitration cases for Mishcon de Reya’s clients. Operationally separate to the law firm, the new venture will be responsible for assessing and investing in prospective cases originated by Mishcon de Reya. MDR Solutions I will benefit from sophisticated data science capability and expertise which has been built by Mishcon de Reya over a number of years. Harbour will be co-investing alongside the firm. Speaking on behalf of Harbour, CIO Ellora MacPherson stated that “this is fantastic news and the next step in the development of our relationship. We have nine active cases which Mishcon de Reya are advising on and close relationships between the teams at every level of the organisation. We look forward to working even closer together.”
A long-standing legal dispute over the renationalisation of Aerolineas Argentinas has resurfaced in the United States, with a Washington DC court being asked to enforce a $325 million award issued against Argentina. The petition was filed by Titan Consortium 1 LLC, who acquired an interest in the case from Burford Capital in 2018 for $107 million. After an arbitration tribunal rendered an award in favour of the claimants in 2017, Burford decided to sell its stake in order accelerate cash recovery and be able to reinvest the capital. It reported a gain of $94.2 million on the case after investing $12.8 million into the matter.
Burford Capital has provided an update on its business performance for the six months ended June 30, 2021. The company saw $500+ million in new commitments, with a continuance in its trend towards funding larger and more complex new matters. Of its 14 new case investments, none had commitment levels under $5 million while six were $20 million or above. COVID has continued to impact the company, however, with an estimated 43% of cases incurring COVID-related delays, ranging from court date postponements to delays in the provision of discovery to slower settlement activity given the absence of a looming trial date to engender settlement. Optimistically, Burford believes that, due to how it often prices deals, ultimate returns may actually increase because of the passage of time.