Harbour Litigation Funding has recruited Michael Napier – the man who oversaw drafting of the funders’ code of conduct – as a consultant to its investment and advisory team.
As well as assisting the investment team in reviewing cases for funding, he will also advise on costs policy matters, including damages-based agreements – the subject of another Civil Justice Council working party he chaired.
The Harbour investment and advisory team already includes former High Court judge Sir Gavin Lightman, former London Wragge & Co managing partner Nicola Mumford and leading insolvency barrister Stephen Davies QC.
Mr Napier, the long-standing senior partner of Irwin Mitchell until his retirement from the firm earlier this year, has played a key role in the costs world over many years and particularly as a member of the CJC for 10 years. He helped broker the various agreements that sought to end the costs war and has continued to play a major role in the CJC even though no longer a member of the council itself.
Mr Napier said: “Harbour is at the forefront of third-party litigation funding, which is now a well-established and increasingly important route for solicitors and their clients. So, with massive changes to the funding of access to justice only months away, I’m happy to become a consultant to the Harbour team at this crucial time for responding to the funding needs of litigants.”
Susan Dunn, Harbour’s head of litigation funding, said: “A brilliant and influential legal mind who shares Harbour’s views on the access to justice that funding can bring to cases and our interest in securing the best possible result for claimants, Michael is an excellent addition to our team. He will bring a new dimension to Harbour as we review and fund an increasing number of cases.”
Brett Carron, Harbour’s chief executive, added: “Mike has helped change the way people think about litigation in the UK. His achievements reflect a real understanding of public policy, including on matters relating to access to justice. He has an ability to see through barriers and develop new markets and opportunities. Mike’s appointment will help Harbour develop further as a market leader and innovator in litigation funding.”