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Largest Litigation Finance Firm Builds Out Team

Burford Capital adds two managing directors, pointing to plans for further growth.

  • By Leanna Orr

Burford Capital — the largest litigation finance firm by assets under management — has hired two new managing directors focused on deal sourcing and marketing, the firm announced Monday. 

David Perla and Greg McPolin began at the New York City-based Burford Capital on Monday. Both previously worked at Pangea3, a legal process outsourcer that Perla founded in 2004. At Burford, he has been tasked with overseeing deal origination and marketing globally. 

Litigation finance, a fairly young investment niche, involves finding and bankrolling lawsuits in exchange for interest and/or a cut of the proceeds, in the event of a successful settlement or judgement. 

Burford Capital, led by former Time Warner general counsel Christopher Bogart, had approximately $3.3 billion invested as of this spring. 

The firm uses teams of attorneys to review corporate lawsuits brought to them for potential investment or general awareness. From those, they select a small portion of the most promising to finance. Last year, for example, 1,500 cases crossed the company’s desks, and it closed on 56 deals, according to the CEO. 

“We have more than 50 lawyers, and they all have relationships,” Bogart said in an April 30 interview with Institutional Investor. “We do quite a lot of marketing to help lawyers understand” the options and business. “Law is a world of no capital.”

In his new role at Buford Capital, McPolin will focus on generating deals and new financing clients from law firms and companies. McPolin served in leadership roles at Pangea3 from 2007, when Perla recruited him, through 2015 when Thomson Reuters bought the company. After that, he became chief operating officer of Thomson Reuters’ combined legal managed services business. 

“Burford has consistently grown by expanding our clients’ understanding of all the ways we can help them unlock the value of their legal assets,” CEO Bogart said in the statement. “Hiring David and Greg is a sign of our commitment to continue accelerating that growth.” 

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