New research reveals growing business impact of in-house lawyers and legal departments as they increasingly generate cash recoveries

Burford Capital, the leading global finance and asset management firm focused on law, today releases new independent research based on a survey of 300 GCs and heads of litigation in the US and UK that demonstrates the transformative way that GCs view legal department impact. GCs seek to add value to the business, and affirmative litigation recoveries play an increasingly important role. GCs also see a role for their law firm partners and for legal finance, especially in relation to fostering innovation and providing support for affirmative recovery programs.

Christopher Bogart, CEO of Burford Capital, said: “Burford’s latest independent research shows that GCs are determined for the legal department to increase their business impact. Legal finance can help them, and the research shows that GCs are increasingly open to cost- and risk-sharing with third parties and that law firms need to be ready to talk to clients about this solution.”

Among the core findings of the research:

  • GCs are ambitious for the legal department’s impact in generating liquidity and transcending its traditional understanding as a cost center.
    • Over half (54%) say the legal department is understood to add value to the business by pursuing recoveries through litigation or arbitration.
    • An even larger majority (69%) say identifying new ways to add value to the business is the most important means by which in-house lawyers can contribute to the success of the company.
  • Still, many see opportunities to do more, specifically in adding value through meritorious affirmative recoveries.
    • Over half of those surveyed (51%) say they need to build infrastructure and process to add value through meritorious affirmative recoveries.
  • GCs expect law firms to be ready to provide guidance on value generation.
    • A solid majority (65%) say that receiving guidance from law firm partners about opportunities to innovate or add value to the business is one of the most important factors in individual GC success.
    • Six in ten say either that their panel litigation firms have spoken to them about legal finance in the last five years or that the firm’s doing so would have contributed to the company success.
  • Legal finance is poised to play an increasingly important role in GC success.
  • GCs see a role for legal finance, especially in relation to their affirmative recoveries.
  • Just under a third of GCs (27%) say their companies have used legal finance.
  • Similarly, almost six in ten say either that they reviewed legal finance partners in the last five years or that doing so would have contributed to the company’s success.

The 2022 GC Survey can be downloaded on Burford’s website, where full results are also available. The research report was conducted in June 2022 by GLG via an online survey, with responses from 300 US and UK GCs, heads of litigation and other senior in-house lawyers responsible for their companies’ commercial litigation.

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 principal offices in New York, London, Chicago, Washington, DC, Singapore, Sydney and Hong Kong.

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

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