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20 October 2020

Burford Capital launches on New York Stock Exchange

Litigation funder says dual listing will deepen investor pool and raise profile in the US

By Ben Rigby

Litigation funder Burford Capital has successfully listed on the New York Stock Exchange. 

The funder, which is also listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), is the first funder to be publicly traded in the United States and is one of a few dual-listed litigation funders globally.

Announcing yesterday's listing (19 October), the funder noted its track record working with Fortune 500 companies and  US law firms, having teamed up with 93 of the AmLaw 100. 

CEO Christopher Bogart said: “Our new listing will increase the pool of investors able to invest in Burford’s shares while more broadly raising our profile in the US capital markets, which may in time lower our cost of capital. For our clients, this listing gives them further proof that working with us means partnering with a gold standard finance firm that is open and transparent about its operations.”

In tandem, the funder released the results of a survey of nearly 500 lawyers working in-house and in private practice which found that use of finance had grown by 105% over the last three years with 53% of the respondents agreeing that a very important benefit was its ability to generate liquidity for general business purposes.

Sixty-one per cent of the in-house lawyer respondents said they were likely to pursue claims to generate cash and offset downturn-related litigation costs and more than half of the respondents expected to use funding in the next two years, with 79% of law firm respondents saying it was essential for business development. 

“The legal sector is on the cusp of significant change, particularly in how it thinks about financing and managing risk,” said Bogart.

In June, Burford took a 32% equity holding in seven-partner London boutique PCBLitigation in exchange for access to capital to fund a portfolio of litigation cases.

A month earlier it conceded defeat in an unprecedented battle with the London Stock Exchange (LSE) after the High Court rejected its application for the LSE to hand over confidential trading information in relation to a dispute with hedge fund Muddy Waters after it released a heavily critical research report.

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