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Burford Capital

Client Objective

As well as a requirement to communicate with investors, Burford Capital has target audiences within the legal and corporate sectors.

We were initially briefed in 2014 to spearhead the company’s B2B outreach and thought leadership articles, communicating not just on what the company does, but also what the company is. We set out to expand its PR output to talking about the business in general, and how it was a pioneer in the litigation finance industry.

Our team was also tasked with supporting media outreach for AIM-listed Burford Capital’s end of year and interim results, as well as outreach in Hong Kong, where it launched in 2015, across Europe, and Canada. We also created a separate PR plan for its new Judgment Enforcement business.

Originality and Creativity

Creative elements for our work with Burford were centered on the types of articles which were being produced, with a news-agenda approach sitting alongside other planned pieces.

We also wished to reach out to media which perhaps had not been on the clients’ radar before working with us, forging new relationships with the international media as well as UK legal and business titles.

Strategy and Implementation

We worked closely with Burford’s UK team to generate relative content and secure opportunities for senior executives and counsel.

This included thought leadership pieces but also extended to broadcast and events such as round-tables which spur PR opportunities.

We also worked with Burford and The Lawyer magazine to conduct three major pieces of research into the industry and views among lawyers and corporate executives. This was the first time Burford had pursued such a project in the UK, with the idea behind it to put a stamp of authority on the industry and raise awareness in others.

Burford’s Hong Kong launch involved the utilising of our international PR skills in targeting major publications to carry the news.

Results and Evaluation

Results have included a flow of impactful pieces each month since the time of instruction. The research project and news-agenda influenced reach out secured major pieces in The Times, while broadcast opportunities to talk about the evolving litigation finance model were also secured.

A range of other set-piece articles – including one three-part series in a major legal publication – were also notable successes in an on-going campaign.

Regular impactful legal and national publication coverage has been achieved consistently around the two main news-hooks in Burford’s PR calendar – it’s end of year and interim results, for which we have engaged with a number of publications and arranged briefings for CEO Chris Bogart.

We have also secured coverage of the Judgment Enforcement business on BBC Radio 4’s renowned Today programme, as well as in Bloomberg. The Hong Kong launch saw publication of articles in Financial News, and an interview with Mr Bogart on CNBC Asia.

Major coverage was also secured for two of Burford’s headline deals in 2016 – one involving a FTSE20 company, the other the global professional services firm Grant Thornton.

PHA’s relationships across the business media, and thought leadership work, is first class. The ability to communicate properly is of vital importance to listed companies such as Burford. In particular, our thought-leadership article in The Times and appearance on CNBC were delivered by PHA Media and were superbly impactful ways of helping us communicate our corporate message.

Nick Rowles-Davies, Managing Director of Burford Capital (UK)

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