Burford continues UK expansion with new arrivals at ATE arm

Smith: demand for one-stop shop

Burford Capital, the world’s largest litigation funder, has announced three new senior hires in its UK after-the-event (ATE) insurance arm and Litigation Futures sponsor Firstassist Legal Expenses, including a former partner at Nottingham law firm Freeth Cartwright.

Mark Thomson joins from Freeths, where he was a commercial dispute resolution partner, to become a litigation funding manager. He is noted for his expertise in commercial litigation, professional negligence and insurance work.

The new head of operational underwriting is Mike Payne, who has over 20 years’ experience in the London insurance market and has a particularly strong background in the legal sector, having worked as head of business development for a large national law firm for some years.

Louise Smith has joined as product development manager. She trained as a solicitor and worked in private practice as a civil and criminal litigator after qualifying. She has since undertaken roles in both claims management and product development, and has extensive experience across all areas of the legal expenses market.

Firstassist managing director Peter Smith said:  “We are delighted to welcome Mike, Louise and Mark to the team. These are extremely talented individuals who will, doubtless, make a real difference to our business and our clients.

“The UK litigation landscape is changing fast but there is no doubt that the need for greater certainty on costs is here to stay. The demand for a one-stop shop to assist with all aspects of legal expenses insurance and funding is greater than ever and we look forward to helping solicitors and their clients in these exciting and challenging times.”