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New Study Reveals How GCs and CFOs Across Industries Manage Legal Risk and Value in an Uncertain Climate

By Harry Moran |

Burford Capital, the leading global finance and asset management firm focused on law, today releases a new study that examines how senior legal and finance department leaders across industries approach litigation spend, legal cost and risk management and optimizing legal department value.

Much has changed in the 15 years since Burford’s inception in the wake of the global financial crisis. Economic, political and societal changes have impacted different industries and their legal functions in different ways. This study reveals how leaders from both legal and finance functions in various industries are responding to both external and internal factors—adapting their legal strategies to navigate the evolving landscape effectively—and where they plan to allocate resources moving forward.

The research is gathered from online interviews with 400 senior lawyers and finance professionals across ten industry sectors, shedding light on their decision-making processes regarding commercial disputes as well as cost and risk management within their legal departments. Industry sectors addressed are construction and real estate; consumer goods and services; energy; food; healthcare; manufacturing; mining; pharma and life sciences; retail; and transportation and supply chain.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Senior legal and finance leaders in construction and mining expect the biggest increases in litigation spend in the next five years, with pharma and food close behind.
  • 3 of 4 GCs and CFOs in construction and real estate say a top priority is to increase certainty and predictability of legal costs—25% higher than the average across all industries.
  • Pharma and life sciences GCs and CFOs are four times more likely than the average across all industries to say they could reallocate $50 million or more elsewhere in the business by financing litigation and arbitration.
  • Almost two thirds (65%) of senior finance and legal leaders at mining companies say that in the next 15 years they are likely to use monetization, a legal finance solution that provides businesses immediate capital by advancing some of the expected entitlement of a pending claim, judgment or award.
  • Half of GCs and CFOs at food companies expect their organization’s litigation and arbitration spend to increase by more than 25% over the next five years; they are also 54% more likely to have used legal finance than the average across all industries.
  • A third of senior finance and legal leaders at energy companies say they already have a robust affirmative recovery program in place, nearly twice as many as the average across all industries. 
  • Healthcare, retail and consumer GCs and CFOs are more likely to say legal finance can play a significant role in reducing overall litigation and legal costs, perhaps reflecting these sectors’ typically thin margins and their desire for innovative cost-saving measures.
  • Finance and legal leaders at retail companies are the most likely to say they intend to invest heavily in legal technology and AI over the next year.
  • Industries in which leaders anticipate the largest increases in future litigation spend do not currently have the largest budgets, suggesting a significant shift in litigation priorities among some industries.

Christopher Bogart, CEO of Burford Capital, said: “Burford’s latest research affirms that GCs and CFOs across industries are thinking about new ways to create value for the business, which is at the heart of our work to help clients reframe the legal department from cost center to capital source.

“Burford was founded in the wake of the 2009 global financial crisis, and we recognize that our capital and expertise are especially valuable in challenging times. A major shift since our founding is the continued expansion of our client base from law firms to companies, including very large ones, and financing arrangements with companies now account for the majority of our business. We help all our clients navigate risk and exploring innovative capital solutions, but the growth of our business with corporate clients—including a recent $325 million deal with a single Fortune 500—is exemplary of how much our capital and expertise can help businesses both survive and thrive in today’s uncertain landscape.”

The latest research is based on an online survey of senior financial officers and in-house lawyers of companies across ten different industries and with annual revenues of $50 million or more in the US, UK, Australia, Singapore, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, The Netherlands and the UAE. All respondents are in roles that include knowledge of their companies’ litigation expenditures and decision-making.The Industry perspectives on litigation and arbitration survey can be downloaded on Burford’s website. The research was conducted by GLG from December 2023–January 2024.

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Rockhopper Exploration Announces Receipt of Tranche 1 Funds for the Ombrina Mare Monetisation Transaction

By Harry Moran |

Rockhopper Exploration plc is pleased to provide the following update in relation to the monetisation of its Ombrina Mare Arbitration Award (the "Transaction") announced on 20 December 2023.

Having satisfied all precedent conditions to the Transaction as announced on 17 June 2024, the Company confirms that the Tranche 1 payment has been received.

Rockhopper has received €19 million of the €45 million Tranche 1 payment. As previously disclosed, Rockhopper entered into a litigation funding agreement in 2017 under which all costs relating to the Arbitration from commencement to the rendering of the Award were paid on its behalf by a separate specialist arbitration funder (the "Original Arbitration Funder"). That agreement entitles the Original Arbitration Funder to a proportion of any proceeds from the Award or any monetisation of the Award. The balance of €26 million has gone to Original Arbitration Funder in order to fully discharge the Company of all of its liabilities under the agreement with the Original Arbitration Funder. Tranches 2 and 3 of the Award remain payable to Rockhopper upon a successful annulment outcome.

As previously disclosed, success fees of approximately €4 million are owed to Rockhopper's legal representatives if Rockhopper win the claim, meaning liability is established and Italy is required to pay more than a nominal sum in damages (either by way of award or settlement in an amount equal to or more than €25 million).

Following receipt of the Tranche 1 payment, Rockhopper's cash balance is approximately $27 million.

Please refer to the Company's announcement on 20 December 2023 for further details on the Ombrina Mare Arbitration Award. Capitalised terms shall have the same meaning as in the 20 December 2023 announcement.

Samuel Moody, CEO, commented:

"We are delighted to have received the Tranche 1 payment under the Ombrina Mare monetisation agreement.  This cash gives us the strongest balance sheet we have had for a number of years, and we remain confident in the merits of our legal case as we await the decision of the Ad Hoc Panel on the annulment request from the Italian Republic."

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Latest Burford Quarterly Explores How Business and Economic Trends are Impacting Commercial Disputes Across Industries

By Harry Moran |

Burford Capital, the leading global finance and asset management firm focused on law, today releases its latest Burford Quarterly, a journal of legal finance that explores the top trends at the nexus of law and finance.

Articles in the Burford Quarterly 3 2024 include:

  • The business and legal trends shaping healthcare

The US healthcare industry is one of the country's largest. Business factors from consolidation to rising costs to lingering Covid-19 impacts are contributing to increases in major disputes, which are in turn driving shifts in how healthcare businesses pursue and finance recoveries.

  • Expert insights: Construction disputes roundtable

Burford moderates a roundtable of construction dispute experts as they discuss megaprojects, AI and the challenges of accurately forecasting and managing construction disputes.

  • The European perspective: Assessing the impact of the Unified Patent Court

A year after its launch, patent experts weigh in on the new UPC pan-European patent litigation system impacting 17 member nations, more than 300 million people and, increasingly, businesses and law firms pursuing corporate IP monetization, including expectations of increasing use and acceptance of the UPC.

  • Judges weigh in on financial disclosure

Judges at a recent legal finance industry conference explained why mandatory disclosure of legal finance is unnecessary and would hinder the efficiency of businesses pursuing their claims.

David Perla, Co-COO of Burford Capital, said: "Our latest Burford Quarterly takes an in-depth look at how economic factors and business trends are contributing to impacts on companies across industries. Of particular note is a close analysis of the US healthcare sector, where increasing consolidation and rising costs is causing more and larger disputes. We also talk to industry experts on topics including the rise in construction sector disputes and the impact of the EU's Unified Patent Court, which for the last year has enabled businesses to enforce their rights across all 17 member nations much more effectively, leading to a big rise in interest in financing IP litigation in Europe."

About Burford Capital

Burford Capital is the leading global finance and asset management firm focused on law. Its businesses include litigation finance and risk management, asset recovery and a wide range of legal finance and advisory activities. Burford is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUR) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE: BUR), and it works with companies and law firms around the world from its offices in New York, London, Chicago, Washington, DC, Singapore, Dubai, Sydney and Hong Kong.

For more information, please visit www.burfordcapital.com.

This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any ordinary shares or other securities of Burford.

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Arcadia Finance Announces Launch of New Litigation Funding Firm

By Harry Moran |

Arcadia Finance, a new litigation funding firm focused on commercial litigation and arbitration, today announced its official launch to offer customized financial solutions and unparalleled support to empower clients and partners in achieving their legal goals. Led by litigation funding veterans David KersteinRonit Cohen, and Joshua Libling, the Arcadia leadership team has decades of funding and litigation experience, having collectively originated or underwritten over 80 transactions with funding commitments of more than $400 million.

Arcadia has secured access to over $100 million in investment capital with a broad mandate to offer solutions to all participants in the legal market. Arcadia expects most of its deals to be in the $2 million to $25 million range but can fund matters with commitments as low as $500,000 and as high as necessary to meet a client’s needs. “I believe that the future of litigation funding is client-focused,” Kerstein said, “and that means being able to meet clients where they are and cover the waterfront of potential litigation-backed investment opportunities.”

Arcadia’s focus on U.S.-based commercial and patent litigation and domestic and international arbitration is open to the whole spectrum of litigation-based assets, from mass torts to law firm lending to patent acquisition, including cross border and offshore matters.

“The team of Dave, Joshua, and Ronit are recognized and valued across the industry as one of the most trusted, experienced and successful funding teams. They are client-focused, fair and easy to work with. Their deep expertise and stellar credentials in not only litigation and arbitration but also in the funding industry enable them to quickly come up with creative and flexible solutions for their clients,” said Roman Silberfeld, National Trial Chair at Robins Kaplan, one of the nation’s premier trial law firms. “They are at the very top of the industry.”

The Arcadia Approach

Arcadia Finance goes beyond traditional finance. The firm is dedicated to providing “frictionless funding” through true partnerships with clients and law firms providing:

  • Customized Solutions: Arcadia tailors its funding approach to meet the specific needs of each case, engaging in proprietary risk analysis to ensure appropriate pricing and the best possible outcomes.
  • Responsive and Supportive Team: Arcadia's team is committed to providing transparency, responsive communication and authentic guidance throughout the entire litigation process.
  • Forward-Thinking Approach: Arcadia stays ahead of the curve, leveraging its expertise to anticipate challenges and strategize for success.
  • Exceeding Expectations: Arcadia is committed to exceeding client expectations by fostering trust and loyalty through a genuine dedication to clients’ success.

Cohen said: “At Arcadia Finance, we prioritize what matters most–our clients’ cases. We understand the challenges you face, having been trial lawyers ourselves. That’s why we created our ‘frictionless funding’ approach. It means streamlined processes, clear communication, and efficient decision-making, all aimed at getting clients the capital they need, fast. This empowers lawyers to focus on what they do best–advocating for their clients and achieving the best possible outcomes. Our transparent approach gives clients the information they need at every step, fostering trust and building a diversified, well-considered portfolio for investors.”

The Arcadia Team

Ronit Cohen, Co-Founder & Managing Director: One of the most experienced professionals in the funding industry, Ronit spent seven years at Bentham IMF, now Omni Bridgeway, where she helped launch their first office. She then joined Validity Finance 5 years ago, shortly after its launch. Ronit’s focus is on underwriting, having spent over a decade leading, creating, and monitoring litigation merits and risk projects. At Validity, she also headed up a pro bono effort to provide capital to wrongfully accused individuals during the pendency of their civil actions. Prior to joining the funding industry, Ronit was a litigator at Simpson Thacher and O’Melveny and Meyers. She received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Columbia University, graduating as a James Kent Scholar.

David Kerstein, Co-Founder & Managing Director: Dave is another industry pioneer. He was one of Validity Finance’s co-founders and served as Managing Director and Senior Investment Officer. In addition to co-leading Validity’s origination and structuring teams, he helped to guide Validity’s strategic growth into new and expanded markets and avenues for investment. Prior to co-founding Validity, Dave was an investment manager at Bentham IMF. He has been named among Lawdragon’s “Global 100 Leaders in Legal Finance” and selected by Who’s Who Legal as a “Thought Leader in Third Party Funding.” Prior to entering the litigation finance industry, Dave spent 15 years as a trial lawyer focused on complex commercial litigation and arbitration at Gibson Dunn. He received his J.D. from University of Pennsylvania (Toll Scholar) and a B.A. from University of Pennsylvania (Benjamin Franklin Scholar).

Joshua Libling, Co-Founder & Managing Director: Joshua was a member of Validity Finance’s senior leadership team with primary responsibility for risk analysis and pricing tools. His focus is on translating subjective legal merits assessments into trackable risk data that informs Arcadia’s investment decisions and portfolio construction. He is also responsible for modeling and operations at Arcadia. Joshua was previously a litigator at Boies Schiller Flexner, where he was involved in some of the country’s highest-profile and highest-stakes litigations and has worked extensively on appellate matters. He clerked for Judges on SDNY and the Second Circuit. Joshua has been named among Lawdragon’s “Global 100 Leaders in Legal Finance.” He received a J.D. from NYU Law School (magna cum laude) and his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago.

About Arcadia Finance

Based in New York City, Arcadia Finance cuts through the red tape of litigation funding. Our seamless collaboration, clear deal terms, and broad mandate empower clients to navigate challenges, make informed decisions, and secure capital–fast. Led by industry veterans with over $400 million invested across 80+ deals, Arcadia offers adaptable solutions for all–from litigation boutiques to AmLaw firms and corporations. For more information, go to www.arcadiafin.com.

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