Harbour Litigation to fund £2m on behalf of professional footballers
Harbour Litigation is putting up £2m to finance claims on behalf of professional footballers engaged in disputes with clubs. Harbour Litigation has agreed the credit facility with London-based boutique firm Morgan Sports Law (MSL) to fight around 60 cases over the next four years.
The claims are likely to be from footballers playing in leagues outside their home countries who lack the financial means to bankroll lawsuits but want to pursue former clubs to recover sums owed to them. Players can take such cases to the FIFA dispute resolution chamber or the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Harbour’s money will cover MSL’s legal fees and disbursements, with the funder compensated from the proceeds of successful cases. No fee is payable by the client if the case is unsuccessful.
Mike Morgan, founder of Morgan Sports Law, said: ‘All too often, costs are a barrier for athletes who wish to enforce their rights. Setting up this credit facility, together with Harbour, will offer our football clients the opportunity to enforce their rights and fight claims they otherwise would not be able to.’
The firm has been involved in several high-profile sports-related litigation, including representing the France international Mamadou Sakho, who received an apology and substantial damages in November 2020 from the World Anti-Doping Agency after comments regarding proceedings brought by UEFA, in which Sakho was cleared of any anti-doping violation.
Harbour claims to be the world’s largest privately owned third-party funder dedicated to supporting litigation and arbitration. Since its formation in 2007 it has funded more than 130 claims and litigated in 14 jurisdictions.
Chief investment officer Ellora MacPherson said: ‘As we emerge from the pandemic, law firm leaders are looking at new ways to support their clients. For this, capital investment is often required and Harbour’s expert ability to assess litigation risk means we can provide capital where and in ways traditional lenders cannot.’