Burford set to post strong results as return on investment climbs

Bogart: market demand

Bogart: market demand

Leading third-party funder Burford Capital is set to announce strong results for 2014 after committing three times more to litigation than it did the year before, and net returns hitting 60%.

The company has also announced the acquisition of a business intelligence firm that specialises in asset tracing and judgment enforcement worldwide.

In a preview of its annual financial statement, which will not be published until March, Burford said it had made $150m (£99m) of new investment commitments in 2014, more than three times 2013’s level. It did not say whether any of these were in the UK.

Recoveries are also significantly up. Since inception five years ago, 32 investments have generated $209m in gross investment recoveries and $78m net of invested capital, producing a 60% net return on invested capital – compared to 52% in 2013. It also virtually doubled the cash generated to $63m.

Burford CEO Christopher Bogart said: “Burford’s performance continues to validate our approach to investment selection and the quality of our team. Moreover, the volume of new commitments made during the last year shows clearly the market demand for litigation finance solutions.”

The acquisition – through “indirect subsidiaries” of Focus Intelligence Ltd – increases the range of judgment enforcement options Burford offers. A London-based team of eight legal and investigative specialists are joining its ranks.

The company said it will make their services available to clients on a contingent basis so that they will only pay if assets are recovered, while other services from Focus – including enforcement intelligence, and litigation and arbitration support – will be charged on a fee basis.

Burford said it is also now prepared to purchase uncollected judgments and awards outright and then collect them at its own cost and risk.

In a statement, Focus founders Daniel Hall and Michael Redman, who are now Burford’s co-heads of global judgment enforcement, said: “We’ve successfully built Focus as a leading provider of corporate intelligence with a substantial roster of multinational clients. Now, with Burford’s capital, we’ll be able to bring the judgment enforcement business to an entirely new level.”

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