Litigation funder Burford granted ABS licence

Topics: Alternative business structures,Regulation and compliance

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Litigation funding giant Burford has been granted a licence to set up an alternative business structure.

Burford declined to comment on the development but the licence opens up the prospect of a funder pumping cash into its own law firm.

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Burford has already moved beyond the funder’s traditional role of investing in individual cases, to funding ‘books’ of litigation. In October, it agreed to provide £30m to claimant firm Hausfeld to finance German competition claims, enabling the law firm to establish an office in Berlin.

Earlier this month, the funder announced a deal to provide £30m to an unnamed FTSE20 company to finance a ‘portfolio’ of litigation.

Burford claims to be the world’s largest provider of investment capital for litigation and funds all types of commercial disputes. It is also an after-the-event insurer and has a specialist division for the enforcement of judgments globally.

The law relating to champerty and maintenance currently prevents third-party investors in litigation from taking a controlling interest in cases.

Lawyers working in an ABS owned by a funder would be subject to the same professional duties towards their clients and the court as those working in traditional law firms.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Why is the Gazette continuingly giving publicity to ABS?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Because they are a game changer.

    And the Govt. want therm to do so.

    And they have to ensure that the separation of powers is clearly put to bed so we have a one nation state (without conflicts of interest and all those nasty irrelevancies).

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  • Litigation funding doesn't always go well.

    Look at Juridica: http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202742910720/Litigation-Funder-Juridica-Pulls-Back-After-Bad-Bets?slreturn=20160028103358

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