Harbour Litigation Funding
Harbour Litigation Funding or Harbour is one of the UK's first litigation funders (see Litigation Funding (UK)) and one of the largest litigation funders in the world, measured by the size of its investment funds. Michael Napier CBE QC, voted Lawyer of the Year 2012 at the Legal Business awards, is the Chairman of Harbour, while Sir Gavin Lightman, former distinguished judge of the High Court of Justice England and Wales, is the Chair of Harbour's Investment Committee.
Harbour (website), authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, was founded in 2007 by Susan Dunn, Brett Carron and Martin Tonnby and is one of the UK’s first litigation funders. The origins of the business date back to 2002.
The origins of Litigation funding, also known as legal financing and third-party funding, date back yet further. Litigation funding's journey from its prohibition in Ancient Greece to its present-day status as ‘the life-blood of the justice system’ were all covered in Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury's lecture at Harbour's inaugural keynote address, ‘From Barretry, Maintenance & Champerty to Litigation Funding’ at Gray’s Inn, London, on 8 May 2013. Lord Neuberger is President of the UK Supreme Court.
Lord Neuberger's lecture follows the launch, in 2011, of a Code of Conduct for litigation funders. The Code was published by the Civil Justice Council after it had been drawn up by a Civil Justice Council working group, chaired by Michael Napier CBE QC and involving Susan Dunn, both of Harbour. The Code sets out the standards of best practice and behaviour for litigation funders in the UK and provides transparency to claimants and their solicitors. It requires litigation funders to provide satisfactory answers to certain key questions before entering into relationships with claimants. Under the Code, litigation funders are required to give assurances to claimants that, among other things, the litigation funder will not try to take control of the litigation, the litigation funder has the money to pay for the costs of the funded litigation and the litigation funder will not terminate funding absent a material adverse development. The Code was approved by Lord Justice Jackson and commended by Lord Neuberger at the time of its publication.
The Civil Justice Council also established a regulatory body responsible for litigation funding and ensuring compliance with the Code. That body is called the Association of Litigation Funders.
Harbour is a founding member of the Association of Litigation Funders and has both adopted the Code and undertaken to comply with it at all times.
- The Guardian (25 May 2012). "Litigation funders become big business". London. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- Legal Business. "Michael Napier CBE QC - Man for all seasons". Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- Lord Neuberger. "Harbour First Annual Lecture". Supreme Court website. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- "CJC publishes code of conduct". The Lawyer. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- "Civil Justice Council agrees Code of Conduct on Litigation Funding". Judiciary.gov.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- "Association of Litigation Funders". Retrieved 14 June 2013.