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Burford Capital Ltd., a closed-end investment company, said Mondayit wants to raise up to GBP200 million in a share placing on London'sjunior market to mark its place in a small but growing sector of fundsthat help finance companies' legal costs in commercial disputes.

Burford Capital said it will start out by investing in disputesbetween companies in the U.S., as well as in those going tointernational arbitration. Later on, it might expand into to otherjurisdictions, it said. A typical investment is expected to be for morethan $3 million and as high as $15 million.

By providing cash to companies to help foot their legal costs, theGuernsey company will be hoping to pick up a share of any awards orsettlements and then pay out money to its shareholders in the form ofdividends.

It didn't say what percentage of proceeds it would ask for, but similar funds take between 20% and 45%.

The company's investment adviser is Burford Group Ltd., set up by U.S. lawyers Christoper Bogart and Selvyn Seidel.

"Third-party commercial dispute finance is a high growth market,helping plaintiffs or defendants get civil justice," Bogart said in astatement. He said these kinds of investment can generate highlyattractive returns that aren't tied to the performance of stockmarkets.

Bogart's previous jobs include serving as executive vice presidentand general counsel of Time Warner Inc., and as chief executive of TimeWarner Cable Ventures. More recently, he was CEO of Churchill VenturesLtd., a special purpose acquisition vehicle, or SPAC, that dissolved inDecember without having made an investment. He is also general partnerat a private fund, Glenavy Arbitration Investment Fund LP, with asimilar strategy to Burford Capital.


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