Leading UK law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn today announced that it has secured an innovative portfolio-based litigation finance arrangement from Burford Capital, a leading global finance firm focused on law. The arrangement is the first of its kind to be offered by a top 100 UK law firm and major funder.
The substantial, multi-million pound portfolio financing arrangement provides flexible capital that Shepherd and Wedderburn may use to expand its ability to offer alternative fee arrangements to clients and grow the firm’s reach in commercial litigation and arbitration. Similar portfolio arrangements have proved increasingly attractive to US law firms, including those practising in the UK. They enable law firms to manage cash flow better, reduce risk exposure and provide a competitive advantage in attracting new business. Shepherd and Wedderburn now lead the way for UK law firms in embracing the advantages of portfolio finance.
Guy Harvey, Head of Commercial and International Disputes at Shepherd and Wedderburn, said: “This portfolio arrangement enhances our capacity to take on new matters on an alternative fee arrangement basis without adding risk to the firm. For clients, that makes us a more flexible and more competitive partner. We are pleased to be partnering with Burford, the clear leader in providing portfolio finance arrangements to law firms.”
Stephen Gibb, Chief Executive Officer at Shepherd and Wedderburn, said: “Shepherd and Wedderburn are delighted to embrace innovation that benefits our clients and therefore our firm.”
The portfolio combines current and going-forward commercial litigation matters. Capital is provided on a non-recourse basis. Burford will receive a portion of the proceeds from any litigation matters in the portfolio that succeed on a cross-collateralised basis. Because risk is diversified, Burford can offer more attractive pricing than on a single-case basis.
Craig Arnott, Managing Director of Burford in London said: “The UK legal market is changing and becoming increasingly competitive. Portfolio finance is an essential tool to help UK law firms be nimble and innovative to attract clients, and Burford is unmatched in our ability and our experience in portfolio finance for firms around the world. We are delighted that Shepherd and Wedderburn has taken a leadership position in the UK legal market in using portfolio finance to grow its business.”