A litigation funder has brought forward its plans to create a separate law firm with the hire of new counsel.

Burford Law has appointed Tom Evans (pictured), a former litigator with US firm Akin Gump, to help lead its transition to directly providing legal services.

The Gazette revealed in January that funding giant Burford, which is listed on the London stock exchange, had been granted a licence to set up an alternative business structure. The approval opened the prospect of a funder pumping cash into its own law firm.

A Burford spokesman said Evans will act as a solicitor in judgment enforcement matters, having joined on Monday.

He added: ‘Tom’s appointment will augment the services that Burford already provides to clients who have judgments in need of enforcement. 

‘Tom is available to those clients – and to other clients not seeking financing or enforcement services from Burford – to act as their solicitor in English matters, and to assist as a legal advisor when other jurisdictions are involved.’

The spokesman said Burford Law will offer its services on either a cash-based or full CFA basis to clients, at their discretion.

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.